Albinism: A Genetic and Social Interpretation Essay

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Albinism: A Genetic and Social Interpretation
The effects of albinism have profound phenotypic distinctions that are visibly defining between those who are affected and those who are not. However, it is the cultural belief and social stigmas surrounding albinism that has brought attention to the mutation in recent media. Ostracizing, rape, and murders of albinos, have steadily increased over the years in the southern African continent. It is due to the myths, beliefs, and misunderstandings about the condition that has left room for stigmas surrounding the condition. Although, albinism is actually a result of six different mutated genes, the six mutated genes contribute to various types of albinism, the most common primarily
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OCA1A albinism is one of the most profound types of albinism, unlike other forms of albinism, no pigmentation is developed over time, the hair and skin appear a very white color, while the irises vary between a light blue to pinkish shade being very translucent. With OCA1A, photoreceptors are most sensitive, and visual acuity is “1/10 or less2.” Pigments found in OCA1B, also known as yellow albinism, over time may maturate after about one to three years, similarly, eyes may change from blue irises to a green or brown color, and however, temperature-sensitive areas cause depigmentation around the body hairs and other areas in lower temperature regions around the body2. OCA2 is more noticeable among infants, the hair is close to always being pigmented, however the distinctive pink irises are absent in this variation. Still, visual acuity is sub part and is commonly found around 3/10 depending on the severity. OCA3 or “red” OCA commonly affects Africans by depicting red to reddish brown phenotypic features the clinical assessments are a result of genetic mutation occurring in the genes or enzyme. As a result, the melanin biosynthesis in melanocytes causing the “hypopigementation” as

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