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The Biology of Skin Color: Black and White

Recent research explores the idea that human skin color is an adaptation to differing levels of ultraviolet radiation in different parts of the globe. The key, this hypothesis suggests, is the effect of sunlight on different vitamins, some of which need ultraviolet light in order to be produced in the human body, while others are destroyed by it.

Credits: From Discover, Vol. 22, No. 2, February, 2001. Gina Kirchweger/ 2001. Reprinted with permission of Discover.

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