Abstract

As genetic model systems, fish have played a key role in our understanding of a wide range of biological processes, including vertebrate pigmentation. In this review, we focus on one aspect of pigmentation, skin pigmentation, which has been of momentous importance in human history. Two fish models, medaka and zebrafish, played important roles in demystifying skin color and, by extension, the concept of "race." Related thinking has the potential to make two additional contributions to human welfare. Fish can be used to validate gene candidates from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in what has been called "Systems Genetics." Because fish are familiar vertebrates, and share genetic mechanisms of skin color with humans, they also have outstanding potential as an educational tool-to "demystify" race, to increase public understanding of the role of model systems and evolution in science, and to enhance appreciation of both genetic and environmental factors that impact human health and society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-242
Number of pages6
JournalZebrafish
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008

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Skin Pigmentation
skin (animal)
anthropogenic activities
Fishes
pigmentation
color
Pigmentation
fish
Vertebrates
vertebrates
Oryzias
Biological Phenomena
Genome-Wide Association Study
Genetic Models
Zebrafish
Danio rerio
human health
History
history
environmental factors

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Developmental Biology

Cite this

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abstract = "As genetic model systems, fish have played a key role in our understanding of a wide range of biological processes, including vertebrate pigmentation. In this review, we focus on one aspect of pigmentation, skin pigmentation, which has been of momentous importance in human history. Two fish models, medaka and zebrafish, played important roles in demystifying skin color and, by extension, the concept of {"}race.{"} Related thinking has the potential to make two additional contributions to human welfare. Fish can be used to validate gene candidates from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in what has been called {"}Systems Genetics.{"} Because fish are familiar vertebrates, and share genetic mechanisms of skin color with humans, they also have outstanding potential as an educational tool-to {"}demystify{"} race, to increase public understanding of the role of model systems and evolution in science, and to enhance appreciation of both genetic and environmental factors that impact human health and society.",
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Skin color in fish and humans : Impacts on science and society. / Cheng, Keith.

In: Zebrafish, Vol. 5, No. 4, 01.12.2008, p. 237-242.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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