Friday 24 May 2013

single gene change causes rare creatures

White tiger's coat down to one change in a gene
Chinese scientists have acquired new insights into how white tigers get their colouration.The researchers have traced the cause to a single change in a gene known to drive pigmentation in a host of animals, including humans. White tigers are a rare variant of the customary orange Bengal sub-species. Today, they are found exclusively in captive programmes where the limited numbers are interbred to maintain the distinctive fur colour.Shu-Jin Luo of Peking University and colleagues report in the journal Current Biology how they investigated the genetics of a family of tigers living in Chimelong Safari Park in Panyu, Guangzhou Province.

Could cryptids be the result of a single gene change at some point in the past? Would explain their scarcity and rarity.

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