Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Pop Quiz

What explains the variations in skin pigmentation in humans from dark to light?

"When the human species began to develop in the torrid regions of Africa some 7.5 million years ago, humans were all dark skinned because dark pigmentation protected them from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. However, when humans later migrated from Africa to colder climates where there was far less sunlight, heavy pigmentation became a drawback--it prevented the skin from absorbing the amount of sunlight needed to produce vitamin D, which is essential for the growth of bones and teeth."
Source: Mali - Crossroads of Africa, Philip Koslow

In other news, turns out there is already a Facebook group for the volunteers I am leaving with in October. I'm happy we're already this organized!

Bambara word of the day
Tarata-don (Tuesday)