[FoRK] Re: Re: ABCNEWS.com: Now, the Sun Prevents Skin Cancer --Right?

Jeffrey Winter JeffreyWinter
Thu Jul 7 11:22:08 PDT 2005


This whole subject was covered pretty thoroughly
in a article in Scientific American in October 2002.
Sorry but only the abstract is on line.


But you might be able to chase it down if you're
really interested.

-----Original Message-----
From: fork-bounces at xent.com [mailto:fork-bounces at xent.com] On Behalf Of
J. Andrew Rogers
Sent: Thursday, July 07, 2005 2:03 PM
To: fork at xent.com
Subject: RE: [FoRK] Re: Re: ABCNEWS.com: Now,the Sun Prevents Skin
Cancer --Right?

> Corinna:
> > What about people who have light skin that tans
> > easily? Sounds like they have the best situation
> > -- self-regulating skin...
> Yep. It works quite well. But we look really funny
> naked, with a white torso and brown limbs.

That is why I mow the lawn in the buff -- the neighbors disapprove of
wild-n-crazy tan lines.

I have all the appearance of and hallmarks of someone from northern
Europe including the very light skin, primarily a Scottish/Polish/Irish
mutt, but I've long benefitted from the fact that my very fair skin
quickly tans rather than burns.  Since my family has been in the US some
300 years and there are known to be traces of Cherokee and similar in
the mix, I've always assumed that this particular property is a mixin
from one of the non-pasty peoples in my genetics.

Quickness of tanning seems like it would be a (beneficial) genetic
feature independent of the baseline skin tone.  In evolutionary terms,
it has only been very recently that people routinely started making
significant moves between latitudes such that there would be an
evolutionary pressure to select for the ability to rapidly adapt to
ambient UV levels.  Most of the heavy-lifting in the genome was
historically done by baseline skin tone, probably because it is a
simpler mechanism (pure speculation on my part).

j. andrew rogers

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