We have all the genes 👤🌍👉 Most people think freckles come from white people. Not true. Freckles are from the #MCR1 gene and rather than containing more Melanocytes, contain cells that overproduce Melanin granules causing darker, small spots of discoloration. Simple. In white people, freckles are usually reddish, a darker yellow shade and tan, traits of #Pheomelanin. All non-mixed Europeans have anywhere from 1-15% African #DNA, and freckles are possibly an indication of higher percentage in African ancestry. Anithetical to whites, freckles on black people are overproduced granules of usually brown to dark brown #Eumelanin. So no, freckles do not come from white people, and if you have them as an African-American person that does not mean you have recent European ancestry. We have all the genes. 😊🌍👉 #BrotherTarik #Freckles #Melanin #Aboriginal #Lovethyself #Genetics

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I am regularly irritated by my inability to convey markings efficiently. It’s just not my forte, though I want it to be so bad. Sorstan and Tjardek’s markings and colors had been getting on my nerves for ages, so I decided to take out a little time to get it settled once and for all. Tjardek has retained a lot of mom’s darker markings and patterning, but gained excess pheomelanin, white, and spotting from dad. Sorstan just managed to get more of dad’s genetics than his mom’s, which really makes him stand out. (Which doesn’t end well at all.)

Here’s the end result! And maybe it’s just me, but I feel these two are far too pretty to be seen as ugly in the eyes of their Teirn tribe members.

Ginger ‘nophs are best 'nophs, right next to melanistic 'nophs. (Which I still need to draw…)

I still can’t help but think other folks would be better at designing pallanophs than I am.

Dinosaur color

            The main problem, historically, in reconstructing dinosaurs and other extinct animals has been determining their coloration. In some cases, educated guesswork can suffice—most mammals will have hair in some shade of black, brown or blonde, most oceanic fish will be some shade of silver-blue, etcetera. In other cases—such as dinosaurs in general and birds in particular—it’s nowhere near as easy. We can reconstruct musculature and ligaments with relative ease; skin, feathers, and scales can be reconstructed as well, provided detailed enough fossils in which we can find their impressions. But how are we supposed to tell what color they were?

            As it turns out, a way exists. In vertebrates, melanin pigments are carried within specialized organelles known as melanosomes, which are usually found in cells in the skin, hair, feathers, and eyes. Melanin comes in two different types: there is eumelanin, which in turn comes in black (grey in low concentrations) and brown (blonde in low concentrations) varieties; and there is red pheomelanin, pink when in low concentrations, that can mix with brown eumelanin to create ginger hair. Different types of melanin are stored in differently shaped melanosomes, whose shapes vary in a reasonably predictable manner across species—eumelanosomes are generally rod-shaped while pheomelanosomes are usually more rounded. Since at least eumelanin is resistant to both chemical and bacterial decay, melanosomes are known to survive the process of fossilization intact enough to tell what kind of melanin they bore. As such, if melanosomes are found in a fossilized animal, it is possible to tell what color that animal was in life.

            The first time a dinosaur’s color was determined, it was that of Sinosauropteryx, a small (about a meter long, counting its long tail) theropod dinosaur covered in hair-like fuzz like that that, in related dinosaur lineages, gave rise to true feathers. After comparing the melanosomes in its protofeathers to those of modern birds, it turned out that Sinosauropteryx had distinctive ginger-and-white banding all along its tail, possibly for camouflage. The possibility of a light belly and a darker back is also possible, if less certain.

            Anchiornis, an avian dinosaur maybe half a meter long and with a coating of true feathers, is another dinosaur whose coloring is well known. It was determined to have had a primarily grey and black body, with white feathers on its wings and legs and a red crest.

            Archaeopteryx, as it turns out, would have had black feathers at least on the tips of its wing feathers. This actually meshes well with our knowledge of birds, since the physical structure of black melanosomes is such that they strengthen feathers, making them better suited for bearing their owner in flight.

            Similarly, Confuciusornis, a true bird maybe the size of a crow, had a mix of grey, ginger, and black feathers, while Sinornithosaurus, a small dromeosaur that bore true feathers, was patterned in ginger, yellow, grey, and black.

            Feathers are not the only structures whose color can be determined this way: eumelanosomes have been found in the eyes of fossilized Eocene birds, and similar structures have been reported in fossils as varied as the eyes of fish and ichthyosaurs and mammalian fur.

            Aside from dinosaurs, there is one other extinct animal whose color we know—the wooly mammoth. Several mammoths have been found, exquisitely preserved in Siberian permafrost. The level of preservation is such that even their fur has endured, fur that is consistently reddish in color. However, the process of preservation that has allowed the frozen mammoths to endure until the present day would have resulted in chemical “bleaching” of their fur, lightening it. In life, mammoths would have had black coats.

            At the moment, the main problem with further color reconstruction for extinct animals is twofold: first, melanosomes are not always preserved, and thus reconstructing what color a fossil animal had in life depends of being lucky enough to find the right fossils. Second, melanosomes with distinct shapes do not occur evenly in all vertebrates. In fact, the only animals in which a clear distinction between rod-shaped eumelanosomes and round pheomelanosomes exists are mammals, birds, and the birds’ closest non-avian dinosaur relatives. In other vertebrates, they are uniformly rounded in shape, regardless of the type of melanin they contain. As such, even if fossils melanosomes were discovered in a non-mammalian or avian fossil, they wouldn’t tell us much about the animal’s color.

            We’ll almost certainly never know the true color of all, or even most, prehistoric animals. But it’s just as likely that our knowledge of prehistoric color will expand beyond the handful of examples we have now. All we need is a bit of luck and a few more fossils with preserved melanosomes or, failing that, the discovery of something other than a mammoth frozen in the Siberian permafrost.

Remember the Strawberry Leopard? Photographer Egil Dröge may have captured rare photos of a “Strawberry” Lion.

In 2009, a photographer by the name of Egil Dröge captured rare photos of a “golden” lion sighted in the South Luangwa National Park, Zambia. Born in 2008, Dröge writes “He was one of 5 cubs born to his pride within a few weeks.” (source)

Much like the three erythristic or “strawberry” leopards (two of which were wild-sighted, one of them collared, and one male cub born in captivity at the Akwaaba Lodge in South Africa), this unusual male lion’s pelage resembles that same reddish pigmentation. It is possible that this specimen exhibits a genetic mutation known as erythrism, which is either the reduction of black pigment (eumelanin) or overproduction of red pigment (pheomelanin).

Even the paw pads show a lack of the black pigmentation seen in normal lion paw pads.

Egil Dröge returned to South Laungwa National Park and was able to capture more images (view here and here) of the same lion in both 2010 and 2011, almost three years after the very first sighting. The photographs show the lion in healthy condition at approximately 3 years old. Its been 4 years since and I am not able to find any updates on him, his condition or his whereabouts. 

These are the very first and quite possibly the only images of an existing (possibly) erythristic lion. (Please do not take my excitement as glorification of color morphs, we all know where I stand on that subject!) However, it is quite interesting as the only other color morphs I’ve seen in lions are leucism and possible mosaicism - which I will further expand on in another post.

View more images and read more information regarding the “Golden” lion of South Luangwa here and here.

Photos: Egil Dröge

Lavi Skin Headcanons

These are my personal headcanons (that, yes, may differ from actual canon #notsorry) about Lavi’s skin, both how it looks and how he takes care of it.

  • Lavi has freckles. Let’s talk science. There are two types of melanin that most everyone has. Eumelanin (if there’s more of this our skin is darker) and pheomelanin. The MC1R gene is what controls this thing called pheomelanin which is linked to the amount of red in our hair, how hard it is for us to tan, and also freckles. More specifically an MC1R variant. MC1R genes are found in chromosome pair 16. If one gene is mutated, you’ll usually just get a bit of freckles for your phenotype. But if both MC1R variant genes are mutated, the likelihood of you having both freckles AND red hair is super likely. Above 80% actually. You’ll at least have one of them 100% of the time if both genes are mutated. So much more likely than not, Lavi has freckles.
  • You’ll also find that it’s much harder to get a tan, though you can still have darker skin if your body produces enough eumelanin. Personally, I think Lavi has a caramel skin tone. His race says he’s basically “???” but mostly Asian. Asians that are most likely to have red hair naturally are from the very west of Western Asia. They’re mostly from the Levant, and on average have caramel skin of a medium color.
  • Personally, I think Lavi takes pretty good care of his skin when he can. He’d probably show any pimples who’s boss. His morning routine would be lazy and would probably look sloppy, but he’d still always thoroughly clean his face.
  • Lavi probably doesn’t mind fluid presentation (cause gender roles will not stop him from looking fabulous no matter what) and actually quite enjoys wearing makeup if he ever gets the opportunity to actually wear any.
  • Inspired by this post, I think it’s pretty damn reasonable to say that Lavi has burn scars from when he was engulfed in his own flames. They’re supposed to be hot as heck, and we’ve seen that he is able to be damaged by his own flames, so hey.
  • The burns would probably be the worst on his face and hands, since the Exorcist uniform was protecting the rest of him. I headcanon that the Head nurse could’ve healed him up pretty well so there wasn’t any pinched up skin, but the scarring would still be pretty noticeable most places.

06 December 2014

Cooperative Invasion

That red-to-blonde haired people with fair skins and freckles are at greater risk of skin cancer is well known. Their skin pigment, called pheomelanin, is less effective at preventing damage to DNA by ultraviolet radiation in sunlight compared to eumelanin found in dark-skinned people. But what is less well known is that redheads might also have a greater chance of developing skin cancer even when not exposed to ultraviolet light, prompting researchers to suspect that pheomelamin itself is carcinogenic. Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer afflicting over 13,000 new UK patients each year, spreads fast to other organs if not caught early when treatment is very effective. According to new research, melanoma cells – the 3D structure of one pictured – work as a team. Parts of the team are efficient invaders of surrounding tissue, while the rest piggy-back in. Once in, they specialise in multiplying and growing fast.

Written by Tristan Farrow

Image by National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
National Institutes of Health, USA
Originally published under a Creative Commons Licence (BY 4.0)
Research published in Cell Reports, August 2014

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enchantedbyhiddles  asked:

As someone who wrote a dissertation on hair in forensic sciences: we are brainwashed into thinking that hair has to be pretty light to be blond, because so many people bleach it. Blonde and red hair have the same colour pigment: eumelanin. Then most blondes get darker when they get older as more pheomelanin (the one dominant in black hair) is produced in contrast to eumelanin. So the different mix of light and dark colour makes it sometimes look more red (or brown) as blondes get older. tbc

I knew there had to be a scientific explanation. Thank you, Franzi! So, does this applies to hair length? Because in Tom’s case it seems to go back and forth as his hair is shorter or longer (also his age matters, in his 20s he’s pretty blonde no matter the hair length).