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Albinism

Albinism in humans (from the Latinalbus, "white"; see extended etymology, also called achromia, achromasia, or achromatosis) is a congenital disorder characterized by the complete or partial absence of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes due to absence or defect of tyrosinase, a copper-containing enzyme involved in the production of melanin. It is the opposite of melanism. Unlike humans, other animals have multiple pigments and for these, albinism is considered to be a hereditary condition characterised by the absence of melanin in particular, in the eyes, skin, hair, scales, feathers or cuticle.

Albinism results from inheritance of recessive gene alleles and is known to affect all vertebrates, including humans. While an organism with complete absence of melanin is called an albino (, or ) an organism with only a diminished amount of melanin is described as leucistic or albinoid.

Albinism is associated with a number of vision defects, such as photophobia, nystagmus, and amblyopia. Lack of skin pigmentation makes for more susceptibility to sunburn and skin cancers. In rare cases such as Chédiak–Higashi syndrome, albinism may be associated with deficiencies in the transportation of melanin granules. This also affects essential granules present in immune cells leading to increased susceptibility to infection.

Wiktionary

albinism

n. congenital lack of melanin pigmentation in the skin, eyes, and hair or feathers (or more rarely only in the eyes); the condition of being albino.

The Collaborative International Dictionary

Albinism

Albinism \Al"bi*nism\, n. The state or condition of being an albino: abinoism; leucopathy.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

albinism

1836; see albino + -ism. Alternative form albinoism is recorded from 1868.

WordNet

albinism

n. the congenital absence of pigmentation in the eyes and skin and hair

Usage examples of "albinism".

Phelps and Phelps, The Cults of the Unwavering I: A Field Guide to Cults of Currency Speculation, Melanin, Fitness, Bioflavinoids, Spectation, Assassination, Stasis, Property, Agoraphobia, Repute, Celebrity, Acraphobia, Performance, Amway, Fame, Infamy, Deformity, Scopophobia, Syntax, Consumer Technology, Scopophilia, Presleyism, Hunterism, Inner Children, Eros, Xenophobia, Surgical Enhancement, Motivational Rhetoric, Chronic Pain, Solipsism, Survivalism, Preterition, Anti-Abortionism, Kevorkianism, Allergy, Albinism, Sport, Chiliasm, and Telentertainment in pre-O.

Partial albinism, necessarily congenital, presenting a piebald appearance, must not be confounded with leukoderma, which is rarely seen in the young and which will be described later.

Batz, on the coast of France, where Voisin found five marriages of first cousins and thirty-one of second cousins, without a single case of mental defect, congenital deafness, albinism, retinitis pigmentosa or malformation?

Le Jeu du Prochain Train was itself substantially simpler than 5 in Phelps and Phelps, The Cults of the Unwavering I: A Field Guide to Cults of Currency Speculation, Melanin, Fitness, Bioflavinoids, Spectation, Assassination, Stasis, Property, Agoraphobia, Repute, Celebrity, Acraphobia, Performance, Amway, Fame, Infamy, Deformity, Scopophobia, Syntax, Consumer Technology, Scopophilia, Presleyism, Hunterism, Inner Children, Eros, Xenophobia, Surgical Enhancement, Motivational Rhetoric, Chronic Pain, Solipsism, Survivalism, Preterition, Anti-Abortionism, Kevorkianism, Allergy, Albinism, Sport, Chiliasm, and Telentertainment in pre-O.

For it was only a penguin - albeit of a huge, unknown species larger than the greatest of the known king penguins, and monstrous in its combined albinism and virtual eyelessness.