Topic: UV Light, Melanin and Evolution

Speaker: Dr. Anup Sharma, Department of Physics, AAMU

Date & Time: Thursday, February 17, 2011, 1:00 PM

Place: Room 140 VMC (Chambers Hall)



Melanin is a ubiquitous pigment present in skin and hair of mammals, feathers of birds and in the cuticles of many insects. Due to its strong light-absorption property over a wide band of UV/visible wavelengths it is believed to play a crucial photo-protective role for human skin. In other warm-blooded species melanin is also responsible for functions such as thermoregulation and camouflage. We describe the results of controlled experiments involving interaction of UV light with melanin thin-films as well with model epidermis tissue samples. Implications of these results for evolution of melanism in biological systems are discussed.

Refreshments will be served at 12:45 PM

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