Albinism Essay

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Alexandria Andrean Albinism BIO 240 Section 02 Spring 2014 Prof. Dr. A.M. Jimenez Albinism is a genetically linked disease and is presented at birth; it is characterized as a lack of pigment called melanin that normally gives color to a person’s skin, hair and eyes. This results in milky white hair and skin, and blue- gray eyes. Melanin is synthesized from amino acid called tyrosine, which originates from the enzyme tyrosinase. Albinism affects all races and both sexes; people with this disease have inherited a recessive, nonfunctional tyrosinase allele from both parents (Saladin 189). The inheritance of Albinism is coded in the gene of the parent’s alleles. Alleles are two different versions of the same gene or trait and are found on the same place of a chromosome. One allele is coded for the production of melanin that will produce normal skin, hair and eye color and another allele that represent the lack of melanin that produces abnormal skin, hair and eyes. There are two types of Albinism; the fist type is called (OCA) which is the most common type. People with this albinism have light blue- gray eyes, very light skin, and hair. The second type of albinism is ocular albinism (OA), which is less common because it is less noticeable. People with (OA) have slightly lighter eyes, skin and resemble their family members features like the color of their skin and hair. People that have oculocutaneous albinism (OCA) have an autonomic recessive chromosome that is a disorder that has two copies of the abnormal gene and is presented in o... ... middle of paper ... ...m can have a very long life expectancy. If one wanted to know their chance of carrying or having the disease creating a punnet square could help determine that. A normal person without Albinism or the presence of the allele melanin can be represented by capital “A” and another allele that represents the lack of melanin will be represented with lower case “a”. Since Albinism is an autonomic recessive disease, this means a person with a homozygous recessive gene will have the disease. Both parents must be heterozygous dominant and carry the allele; they will have a 25% chance of having a child with albinism and a 70% chance of having a child carrying the disease. If one parent is heterozygous that still carries the flawed gene and the other parent is homozygous dominant there will be a 50% chance their child will carry the disease but wont have a child with Albinism.

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