MGA2 1-11albinism2.gif Moon Children

Albinism in Homo sapiens

    Oculocutaneous Albinism is due to the absence of the pigment melanin in the melanocytes of the eyes, skin, and hair. The genotypic basis is typically a deficiency or absence of the enzyme tyrosinase, which converts dihydroxyphenyalanine (DOPA) to melanin. The phenotypic effect is more dramatic in dark-skinned people (left), but occurs in all ethnic groups (middle): note the two boys on the far right, from a Scandanavian family. In several cultures, "Moon Children" are regarded as bringers of good fortune (right).

All text material © 2009 by Steven M. Carr