PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Ptolemy
 
Comments: 20
Article views: 497
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all Ptolemy's badges.
 

An Evolutionary Story

14 December 2012, 08:27

An Evolutionary Story:

A very long time ago, perhaps more than a thousand years, there lived  near the polar circle, in what is now Norway, a group of mostly redheaded Vikings,  craftsmen of the long ships.  At a time when they had just completed  a masterful example of their craft, there blew in from the Northpole a piercingly cold wind. It brought heavy snows and made life almost unbearable. The prospect of spending another  winter in this Northern habitat  became just too much to contemplate.  These Vikings, therefore, packed their belongings onto their new ship and steered  the ship in a Southerly direction where they had  hoped to find  less challenging conditions.  The stormy weather pushed them past the British Islands,  through the Bay of Biscayne, past the Iberian peninsula and around the bulge of Africa.

They made landfall on the Westcoast of Africa near the equator, where they found the tropical vegetation to be lush with many large trees that could be used for the construction of their new homes. They soon discovered that there are also large  flocks of  antelope to hunt and  a  plentiful supply of  clear water from a nearby river.  Very pleased with themselves the Vikings lazed around in the hot tropical sun, but lacking the pigmentation of  the pigmies and other African peoples that lived in tropical Africa they were soon full of sunblisters and had to think of ways to protect themselves against the African sun which was much more intense than  the sun they had experienced in their previous habitat above the polar circle.

Centuries later a fleet of  Norwegian ships  navigated down the Westcoast of Africa and were surprised to find there a community of Norwegian speaking people, although in an ancient dialect perhaps more related to Icelandic.  Amongst these African Norwegians, however, there were no longer any redheads  and they were also more darkskinned than  their  Viking ancestors.  They told tales of  a sickness that befell their redheaded, lighter skinned  compatriots during the preceding centuries.  All this was recorded in the annals of ships belonging to the visiting fleet and  after yet another long time the information became available to Dr Wallace Darwin in England. 

Now, Dr Wallace Darwin was an expert on the biochemistry and genetics of skin pigmentation and was interested  in the fate suffered by many of the ‘African’ Vikings, in no small measure because  redheaded, fairskinned people are prone to develop melanoma of the skin (skin cancer).  He knew that  human skin and hair colour is largely determined by the amount and type of melanin pigment production by cutaneous and follicular melanocytes, which in turn depends on the relative amounts of four different proteins expressed in these cells.  A key regulator of pigmentation in human melanocytes is the melanocortin-1-receptor, a protein found in the membranes of melanocytes. There are over 70 variants of  this protein and depending on which variant is expressed and found on the melanocyte cell membranes, hair or skin colour can have a darker or lighter hue. The red hair colour  (RHC) phenotype is associated with red hair, a fair skin and an increased  risk of skin cancer.  Skin cancer cells can metastasize, i.e. spread to other organs and tissues in the body with fatal consequences. The disease is about 20 times more prevalent in white males as compared to black males.

While Dr Wallace Darwin could no longer study the biochemistry of the now extinct  RHC phenotype Vikings that so injudiciously made Africa their home, he was convinced that their demise is just another example of natural selection and survival of the fittest. In his opinion all this had absolutely nothing to do with thermodynamics and its second law.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
20 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
bleu2013
The consciousness of free will

The group or herd mentality is then established to corral individuals into enclosures and prisons of their own making. Read more...

60 comments 527 views
Submitted by
JoeSoap
Tattoos are for idiots

The first thought that came to me was to ask the gent how long he had to spend in prison to get so many tattoos. Read more...

11 comments 486 views
Submitted by
Eric Rimmer
Oscar Pistorius - Guilty of What?

One cannot have two defences. The onus here is on the defence to prove either case beyond “reasonable doubt”. Read more...

13 comments 734 views
Submitted by
Kalibanache
South African Genie and the Magic...

The ANC thought that they had the magic lamp when Mandela was leading. And I think they were right... But where is his lamp? Read more...

5 comments 401 views
Submitted by
Kalibanache
A spot of Blemish and Dirty Bum.....

Maybe the 2 week break will help some people with the reality of matters. " I called out, Reeva, Reeva !" sob sob... Ja buddy, That's not what Gerry says..  Read more...

10 comments 554 views
Submitted by
Terrylin Backpackers
The Colour of Your Vote

"Now I am so confused that I have the blues," moaned Melissa. "I don't think I will ever vote at all." Read more...

0 comments 2 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Digital Media & Marketing Association
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.