TECH
20/05/2014 11:28 BST | Updated 20/05/2014 11:59 BST

Human 'Albino' Gene Found In Dogs

Certain kinds of albino dogs share a gene mutation with humans that causes then to have little or no pigment in their eyes, skin and hair.

A study at Michigan State University said that the genetic mutation is present in Doberman pinschers with albinism.

The same mutation is associated with a form of albinism in humans, the study says.

"What we found was a gene mutation that results in a missing protein necessary for cells to be pigmented," study co-author Paige Winkler.

The specific form of albinism is called "oculocutaneous albinism".

"With an albino Doberman, you see a white or lighter-coloured coat, pink noses and lips, along with pale irises in the eyes," Winkler said.

"These traits are very similar to the characteristics humans display with this particular condition, causing light-pigmented skin and hair, along with eye discolouration and vision disturbances."

The study suggested that the albino Dobermans were more likely to develop tumours as a result of their mutation, which again appears to correlate with a higher risk of skin tumours in humans with the condition.

Check out the full story at HuffPost US, and read the report itself over at PLOS One.