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Lab Gab with Sherry O!

THIS IS SHERRY O., SHARING THE BOOTH WITH MY NEW PET GOLDFISH, SNOWBALL. HE'S A RARE ALBINO FISH, WITH SKIN AS WHITE AS SNOW DO YOU THINK A WHITE GOLDFISH SOUNDS A LITTLE FISHY? THEN GIVE ME A CALL RIGHT NOW ON LAB GAB...

THIS IS BEATRIZ MENDOZA, AGE 13, FROM WHALEY MIDDLE SCHOOL IN COMPTON, CALIFORNIA. GOOD LUCK WITH THE FISH, SHERRY. BUT IT MAKES ME WONDER: WHY ARE SOME PEOPLE AND ANIMALS ALBINO?

ALBINOS ARE BORN WITH LITTLE OR NO MELANIN-A SUBSTANCE THAT GIVES EYES, SKIN, HAIR, SCALES, OR FEATHERS THEIR COLOR. ALBINO ANIMALS OR PEOPLE CAN INHERIT THIS TRAIT FROM THEIR PARENTS.

AN ALBINO CAN HAVE SNOW-WHITE OR CREAM-COLORED SKIN. DIFFERENT AMOUNTS OF MELANIN PRODUCE A VARIETY OF SKIN TONES AND EYE COLORS. FOR INSTANCE, AN ALBINO COULD HAVE PINK, LIGHT BLUE, GROW, OR HAZEL EYES. THE PINK COLOR IS REALLY THE COLOR OF BLOOD VESSELS SHOWING THROUGH THE SKIN OR THE EYE'S IRIS.

SINCE MELANIN PROTECTS THE SKIN FROM THE SUN'S HARMFUL ROWS, ALBINOS ARE MORE LIKELY TO SUFFER FROM SUNBURNS AND SKIN CANCER. AND ALBINO ANIMALS ARE MORE LIKELY TO GET GOBBLED UP IN THE WILD BECAUSE THEIR WHITE SKIN MAKES IT EASIER FOR PREDATORS TO SPOT THEM!

THANKS FOR THE SKINNY ON ALBINO SKIN, SHERRY!

NO SKIN OFF MY BACK, BEATRIZ! THANKS FOR LISTENING TO LAB GAB THIS YEAR. THIS IS SHERRY O. IN STEREO, SIGNING OFF ON WSWR, SCIENCE WORLD RADIO, WHERE SCIENCE ROCKS YOUR WORLD!
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1998, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:science facts
Publication:Science World
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Mar 11, 1998
Words:243
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