Added: Killian Gridley - Date: 20.01.2022 14:36 - Views: 33543 - Clicks: 5093
Brazilians, shown here gathering for Carnival, and other Latin Americans have a wide range of skin tones. For years, people have assumed this variation comes from the meeting and mixing of Native Americans, Europeans, and Africans during colonial times and later. People with lighter skin are thought to have more European ancestry, whereas those with darker skin are taken to have more Native American or African ancestry—and are often targeted for discrimination.
Now, a new study of the genes of more than people from five Latin American countries undercuts the simplistic racial assumptions often made from skin color. An international team discovered a new genetic variant associated with lighter skin found only in Native American and East Asian populations. That means that in Latin America, lighter skin can reflect Native American as well as European ancestry. Latin America is fertile ground for such studies. People there often have Native American, European, and African ancestors, and because Native American populations are closely related to those from East Asia, researchers can also spot East Asian variants in Latin American genomes.
That allowed Adhikari and Mendoza-Revilla to look for genetic variants linked to skin tone. One variant was on MFSD Tishkoff recently linked reduced expression of this gene with darker skin in Africans. When they looked for the variant in other populations, they found it only in Native Americans and East Asians. So the new variant sheds light on the genes underlying pale skin in East Asia. People at high latitudes in Europe and East Asia seem to have independently evolved lighter skin to produce vitamin D more efficiently with less sunlight, says Nina Jablonski, a biological anthropologist at Pennsylvania State University in University Park.
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The surprising reason why some Latin Americans have light skin