Melanin

Subject: Melanin

What? Melanin protects our DNA against UV rays. It is produced by melanocytes in the basal layer of the skin. Melanin is different colors and is also in the brain.

Why? History Melanin is a polymer derived from tyrosine, an amino acid. Melanin protects our DNA against UV rays. The pigment gives human skin, hair and eyes their color. Melanin is responsible for tanning of the skin that is exposed to sunlight. It is a brown or black spot in the hair, skin, and iris of people and animals.

How does it relate to the skin? Granules of melanin pigment are called melanosomes. Melanin is produced by cells called melanocytes. Melanin is the pigment that gives the skin, hair, and iris its colors. Dark-skinned people have melanin distributed differently in their skin. Cells called melanocytes produce melanin. It is basically a protection for the sun to block its harmful UV rays.

Where does it typically occur? Melanosomes leave the melanocytes (cells) and move into other cells in the epidermis. Melanin is found in the hair, irises of the eyes, and several other places.

When? (Implications) Melanin is responsible for determining skin and hair color. It is present in the skin in varying degrees. Freckles which occur in people are small areas of increased melanin production. A common skin condition is freckles. They are just skin cells that contain pigment, also known as melanin. The freckles are on the skin because of exposure to the sun’s rays.

Who benefits from this? If humans did not have melanin we would be albinos. It provides some protection against skin damage from the sun. All humans benefit from having melanin. If we didn’t have this pigment in our hair, skin, or iris’s, we would have a disorder called albinism.

What causes this? The tyrosine is found is special cells called melanocytes. A lack of tyrosine can lead to this disorder and others. Melanin has two types of eumelanin and pheomelanin. Melanogenesis is a process where melanin is produced by melanocytes, responding to UV rays.

How? Solutions (Machines/Mechanical) Use sunscreen to help aid against the protection against the sun. The application of a physical or chemical sunscreen will help prevent sunburns by protecting the skin.

How? Solutions (Non Mechanical) various genes, nutrition and environmental factors

plays a role in the color of the skin. Your surrounding environment plays a big role in the color of your skin.

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