Albinism is a condition where “a person has partial or complete loss of pigmentation (coloring) of the skin, eyes, and hair” (Raymond Boissy for Scientific American). Albinism is caused by genetic mutations that affect the production of melanin, the pigment that colors skin. Boissy states “There is a cell called the melanocyte that is responsible for giving skin, hair, and eyes pigmentation. In albinism, the melanocytes are present, but genetic mutations interfere with their pigment production.” There are five genetic types of albinism, most common are oculocutaneous type 1 (OCA1) and OCA2. Besides humans, any animal that has melanocytes can get albinism, so pretty much any mammal and sometimes reptiles, amphibians, and other lower vertebrates, but for a different reason than melanocytes. About one in every 17,000 people are albino.
Albinism is inherited at birth, and affects all vertebrates. It is caused by a shortage or the complete absence of melanin from the skin. Melanin is a pigment which gives skin its darker color.
Albinism is a disorder which occurs due to mutations of various genes present in chromosomes in a human body.
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