Wow — after decades and decades of hunting, it looks like scientists at Penn State have identified at least one genetic mutation that accounts for the difference between black and white skin color. (Washington Post coverage of the paper is here.) Even at the very scientific medical school I went to, it was an oft-repeated statement that skin color had no genetic basis, but that always struck me as an odd thing to say; what the hell else but genes would account for that fundamental a heritable difference between two groups of people? It’s nice to know that, once again, the gene theory won out in the end!