Skin Pigmentation: Scientists Find Many New Genes Responsible for the Condition

Skin Pigmentation: Scientists Find Many New Genes Responsible for the Condition

Within the realm of dermatological conditions, there exists a group of phenomena known as skin pigmentation disorders. These disorders exert their influence over the canvas of our skin’s hues, creating a spectrum of variations that captivate scientific attention. Among these intriguing deviations, several hold prominence, such as melasma, vitiligo, albinism, and the transformative alterations in pigmentation that emerge as a response to skin damage.

Albinism, a genetic marvel, manifests as a striking absence of pigmentation, rendering the hair, skin, and eyes exceptionally light-toned. On the other hand, melasma, which is often linked with hormonal fluctuations, orchestrates a symphony of darker patches across the expanse of the skin, presenting an interplay between light and shadow.

135 newfound genes are responsible for skin pigmentation

In a remarkable stride, scientists have discovered 135 previously unknown genes intricately linked to skin color and pigmentation, according to Tech Explorist. This revelation sheds light on the complex interplay behind human appearance, hair shades, dictating skin hues, and eye tones through melanin production.

The new study was led by Dr. Vivek Bajpai at the University of Oklahoma, and it harnessed CRISPR-Cas9 technology to probe more than 20,000 genes across millions of melanocytes. Of the 169 identified genes influencing melanin production, 135 were entirely novel, expanding our genetic palette.

Dr. Bajpai explained as the Tech Explorist quotes:

If there are a lot of melanin-producing melanosomes, the light will scatter much more than in cells with little melanin. Using a process called side-scatter of flow cytometry, we could separate cells with more or less melanin. These separated cells were then analyzed to determine the identity of melanin-modifying genes. We identified new and previously known genes that play important roles in regulating human melanin production.

The new discovery not only deepens understanding but also opens doors to exploring skin-related conditions and genetic intricacies.


Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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