Black by Choice?
Sean David Moore
smoore at mail1.sas.upenn.edu
Mon Sep 26 09:29:25 EST 1994
I really don't know where the idea of "turning white " to avoid the sun
came about. As I recall, the modern theory is that as certain
populations of people moved farther north, they got much less exposure to
the sun..and that coused a severe Vitamin D deficiency. As our elders
from Canada and other northern countries can tell us, before Vitamin D
fortified milk, poeple died from lack of Vit. D.
It is unlikely that skin cancer was the cause of an evolutionary
change in the skin color of homo sapiens. At the time tribes moved to
the north, I severely doubt skin cancer was having a major effect on
population or longevity...most hunter-gatherers died from the plain-old
wilderness or at the ripe "old-age" of 40 or so.
Yes, there is research being done on artificially inducing
melanin production in people who are either pre-disposed to skin cancer,
or who want the tan without the sun and time.
Medical College of Pennsylvania,
and the University of Pennsylvania...
smoore at sas.upenn.edu
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