Genes of Cape Verdeans are unique, say scientists
A group of international experts recently released a study that reports that the population of Cape Verde, "presents unique characteristics because it has an absolutely extraordinary mixing level between Africans and Europeans". An article with the results of this research has just been published in the scientific journal PLoS Genetics world reference, being the subject of the cover of the publication.
This means that a single population found "the whole possible range of skin pigmentation, an ideal situation to do studies of this nature," adds the researcher Jorge Rocha who led team.
Scientists have studied the variation of pigmentation in 699 people from Cape Verde and analyzed nearly one million molecular markers for each person studied. The international team discovered new genes responsible for variation in skin color and eyes in Africans and Europeans, after studying the population of Cape Verde.
The scientist Nuno Ferrand told the Portuguese newspaper Expresso that the study results represent "an exceptional breakthrough in understanding the genetic determinism of skin color and eye color, perhaps the most relevant phenotypic characteristics of the human species". Phenotypic characteristics are observable in a population, such as its morphology, development, biochemical or physiological properties and behavior.
The PLoS Genetics article emphasizes that the results achieved in the investigation of the population of Cape Verde "help explain how genes work together to control a wide range of characteristics related to pigmentation, giving a new perspective on the evolution of these features and provide a model for understanding other variations in mixed populations" such as hair color, which was not analyzed in this study.
The texts have been translated by a non English native speaker and may contain some errors of form or interpretation.
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