Shades of Flesh Tone: Tests reveal gene for people's skin color | Science News

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Shades of Flesh Tone: Tests reveal gene for people's skin color

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12:25pm, December 14, 2005

It's no secret that skin comes in a vast array of shades. However, the genetics that control this phenomenon have remained a mystery. Researchers have now tracked down a gene that they propose plays a major role in determining each person's skin color.

Keith C. Cheng of the Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, Pa., and his colleagues originally found this novel gene in zebra fish, an animal popular among scientists studying genetics.

The researchers worked with unusual golden fish that have honey-colored stripes instead of the species' typical black stripes. Their research had shown that the golden variety has smaller pigment-containing cells than normal zebra fish do and that the golden fish's cells contain fewer and ligh

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