MCC Daily Tribune

Dr. Daniel Tyree (Anthropology) Presents at Filling Station

On Friday, March 01, from 12-12:50 p.m., in 8-200, Dr. Daniel Tyree (Anthropology) will present his talk "Variation in Human Skin Color: Evolution and Adaptation." This is the second of three spring 2019 events for Filling Station: a Faculty Research Presentation Series. According to Tyree, "variation in human skin color is mainly the result of differing concentrations of the pigment eumelanin (brown and black) within the epidermis. One of the primary functions of eumelanin is to protect the body from the effects of ultra-violet radiation (UVR). Under conditions of intense UVR, the primary selective pressure is to minimize the degradation of the vitamin folate, which is essential for the proper development of the fetus. Consequently, increased eumelanin (darker skin) is favored in high UVR regions (tropics) to ensure successful reproduction. However, since humans get most of their vitamin D from UVR, a total protection from UV is not desirable. Hence, a reduction of eumelanin is essential in areas of low UV exposure (higher latitudes) to allow production of enough vitamin D. Ultimately variation in human skin color is the evolutionary result of an adaptive balance between folate degradation and vitamin D production." The event is free and open to the entire MCC community.

Leuzzi, Anthony