Albinos are a result of genetic abnormalities, usually the possession of two recessive genes for albinism. Recessive genes are usually not a problem – chances are, everyone has at least a few. But, when you happen to inherit two, interesting things can result. Albinism is one of them.
Albino mice show characteristics typical of albinism in general: lack of pigment and red-tinted eyes. They’re commonly used in biomedical research in the form of mouse strains such as CD1. In the wild, many albino animals don’t survive due to their lack of camouflaging pigment. But, some persist and a notable few have an almost cult-like status.
So why choose a genetic abnormality as the name for a science blog?
Well, science is quirky. Is there anything normal about spending your day mixing chemicals and cells in a dish and then counting them? I think not. There is a very high probability of failure – just ask any grad student. But when the stars align, the supervisor is happy and the antibody works… interesting things can happen.
And hey, if it works for grad students – Who knows what might happen here. 🙂
[Photo by Dale Tidy]