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Genetics question about skin color and hair type traits

Genetics as it applies to evolution, molecular biology, and medical aspects.

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Genetics question about skin color and hair type traits

Postby kleinelola » Sat Mar 17, 2007 1:38 am

I will try to simplify this question as much as possible without leaving out any relevant information....

I understand that when someone with dark skin mates with someone with light skin, usually the offspring have a somewhat intermediate skin tone. I have a cousin whose father is black (Ethiopian) and whose mother is white (Irish), yet she is/was VERY pale (I say "was" because she kind of has a "farmer's tan" now as a result of not wearing sleeveless clothing for a long time - the rest of her skin is still very pale) and she also has Caucasian hair (wavy/curly). She doesn't have any features that people would consider "African". How is this possible, genetically? Is it possible that she has the darker skin color gene, but doesn't exhibit that feature? My understanding of skin color was that, unlike eye color (in which you can carry a recessive allele and pass it on to future offspring, without the carrier of the allele actually expressing the trait), you express whichever traits you have; that is, can a person with light skin (I mean white, not light for a biracial person) pass on dark skin color traits, or the "African" hair texture? Are these traits possible to pass on if you yourself don't express them? It's very curious and I don't understand it..! Maybe someone can help?
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Postby mith » Sat Mar 17, 2007 4:06 am

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Postby kleinelola » Sat Mar 17, 2007 10:16 pm

This article has to do with a rare phenomenon that can only occur in a particular environment (fraternal twins, biracial couple) and so I fail to see how this addresses my specific genetics questions...?
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Postby deli79 » Sun Mar 18, 2007 9:20 am

I think it is possible

1. look up the spectrum of dominance: complete and incomplete dominance
2. polygenic inheritance
3. there’s at least 3 inherited genes that controls skin pigmentation.
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