THE FORMATION OF COLOR IN LIVING BEINGS AND THE EFFECTS OF MUTATIONS

Prof. Dr. Orhan ERDOĞAN
Atatürk University, Faculty of Science, MolecularBiologyandGeneticsDepartment, Erzurum.
[email protected]

The being that knows the intensity of light knows the sensitivity of the eye too. Therefore, the one that creates color is also the one that creates light. The one that creates color is the one that creates the eye and the receptors in the eye.

Colors are found in almost every field of our lives. They can be either natural or synthetic. All colors emerge as a result of reflection of the seven colors of the sun from the object or living being it penetrates. It is impossible for colors to emerge without light. We can see the world in color with colors but the colors in living beings have wisdoms peculiar to them.For example, living beings are created with wisdom in terms of many ways like recognizing one another, hiding (camouflage), reproduction, diet, state of danger, family and herd formation. Colors are formed in all living beings, from bacteria to viruses, which we are unable to see with our eyes. Even the internal organs of living beings are colored. Natural or experimental mutations on the genes that cause the formation of colors prevents the formation of color and causes alpinism (absence of pigment) because they disrupt the gene codes. [1]

Migration and Transformation in the Neural Crest Cells

During the development of the embryo, after the formation of the neural tube, a group of cells on the roof, i.e. the upper, dorsal part of the tube, becomes nomadic and breaks away from the tube (Figure 1). Then, they are distributed all over the body. [2]

When they reach their destination, they are transformed into different cell types. How these cells know when to depart, where to go, and which tissues to make in the place where they go have been an intense research topic.

Figure 1. Humanembryoand the migration of neural crest cells.[3]

These cells, which move and differentiate with such a perfect mechanism, act and differentiate for some reasonsbased on the command of the Supreme Creator. It is clear that these mindless, unconscious, blind and deaf cells do not act based on their own will but with absolute obedience to the Creator. The causes are only veils here.

All this shows that all the colors in living beings are created deliberately for multiple purposes and aims within a certain plan and measure.

Melanocytes (Pigment Cells)

Melanocyte cells are located in the epidermal layer and are responsible for the production of melanin. When these cells are transported to the melaninkeratinocyte cells (skin surface cells) that they produce, the skin assumesa dark color. The formation of melanin in melanocyte cells occurs whenseveral enzymes, especially the tyrosinase enzyme, catalyze a series of reactions (Figure 2a).[4]

As a result of these reactions, a color scale ranging from black to brown and yellow to red is produced. This is the manifestation of the work of the Creator, who creates many things from one thing, on the living beings based on causes.

Figure 2.a) Melanin biosynthesis, b) Melanin transportation. [5]

These cells, which move and differentiate with such a perfect mechanism, act and differentiate for some reasons based on the command of the Supreme Creator. It is clear that these mindless, unconscious, blind and deaf cells do not act based on their own will but with absolute obedience to the Creator. The causes are only veils here. All this shows that all the colors in living beings are created deliberately for multiple purposes and aims within a certain plan and measure.

There is no doubt that a scientific mechanism operates in the production of melanin in melanocyte cells. Color formation and diversity in living beings is controlled by very different and complex biochemical mechanisms. For example, when Figure 3 is studied, it will be seen that some proteins (receptor proteins) are present on the surface of a melanocyte cell. When those surface proteins are stimulated by various hormones and some other proteins responsible for signaling, a wide range of colors occur. For example, black color forms when the EDN3 protein binds to the EDNRB receptor on the surface, whereas brown color forms when the ASIP protein binds to MC1R receptor. When MC1R receptor does not work another shade of light brown occur; when Oca2 does not work, pigment absence called albinism emerges.

KITLG is a protein involved in the development, transportation and differentiation of cells, especially melanocyte cells. It also works in the transportation of melanosomes.

Figure 3.Cell receptors and color formation.

In some European countries, if there is a single nucleotide change, i.e. “G” in the upper region of the gene encoding theKITLG protein in humans, it results in the formation of blond hair (If it is“A”, black hair color is formed) (Figure 10). [7]

All these mechanisms are just a few examples of the formation of various colors. There are hundreds of such mechanisms. In addition, a protein called MITF within the cell nucleus is a protein that enables the formation of the enzymes that function in the production of melanin (Transcription factor) and is responsible for the opening of genes and cell differentiation in addition to its several other functions.

Now we need to ask the following question: Who directs these molecules, which act like a switch that turns on a light bulb, and how do they know one another? All these mechanisms are the work of the supreme Creator’s name al-Alim (the Knower of All).

The formation of melanin also enables the realization of structures such as skin, scales, fur, feather and eye color in living beings. The emergence of these colors is caused primarily by the expression of genes (opening and coding proteins), as well as the effect of heat, light, nutrition and various hormones.

These cells, which cause pigment formation, are called melanocyte cells in mammals and birds while they are called chromatophores in frogs, fish, reptiles, crustaceans and cephalopods.

Figure 4. Color diversity in a fish and spider. [8]

Skin Cancer

Melanin production does not cause only color formation in living beings. It also helps to protect our skin from the harmful effects of sunlight. In case of prolonged exposure to the sun, the ultraviolet A rays coming from the sun cause DNA breaks in the keratinocyte cells located in the upper layers of the epidermis. If precautions are not taken, these DNA fractures in the cells can cause skin cancercalled melanoma.

As it can be seen in Figure 5, a gene expression starts in the cells by a protein called p53 in order to be protected against the harmful effects of the sun and the hormone that is produced binds to the MC1R receptor and triggers melanin synthesis,. Then, melanin is transferred to keratinocytes adjacent to the melanosomes. Thus, the melanosomes that are transported to the surface protect the cell from ultraviolet rays like a shield in order to prevent the harmful effect of the sun.

Figure 5. UV effect and melanosome transfer. [9]

Is it possible for this mechanism described above to take place on its own or by chance? Who sends those unconscious molecules to their destination? How do these molecules know the directionand the region to go?

Allah, who knowsthe sun and its features, created the formation of this mechanism and its precaution knowingly. All these molecules fulfill their duties with absolute obedience based on causes.

As it can be seen in Figure 6, DNA damage mutations that occur in the gene structures of melanocyte cells can cause skin cancer called melanoma (Figure 6.a) and melanoma in the eye (Figure 6.b). It is claimed that living beings developed and were derived from one another as a result of mutation and natural selection. It is clear that this view has no scientific basis. It means mutations and damages in the genetic structure do not develop andimprove living beings; on the contrary, they cause the death of living beings.

Figure 6. The accumulation of mutations and uncontrolled increase of cells in melanocytes causes cancer called melanoma. a) Skin melanoma cancer, b) Eye melanoma cancer. [10]

What is the Function of Genes in the Formation of Colors?

The variations in colors are the result of the combination of alternative codes placed by the Creator in genes. The variety of colors in living beings is placed by Allah  in combination with their genes according to the environment in which they live or will be able to live.

The concept we call gene is the basic unit of heredity that can encode any character located in a specific region of chromosomes. Although the color formation in living beings is mostly encoded by genes, some of these genes work alone and some of them work in combination. In a study on the formation of body stripes in chipmunks(a type of squirrel),Mallarino et al., 2016, found that the body stripes in chipmunks occurred as a result of the combination of several proteins, especially a protein called Mitf, (Figure 7).

The change of DNA codes can cause diseases in living beings. This shows that living beings are created with all of their features. Mutations cannot make living beings better.

Mitf is a protein responsible for the formation of melanocyte cells. When this protein is suppressed by another protein called Alx3, a light color occurs. As a result of the increase of Edn3 protein, black color occurs. As a result of the increase in Asip protein, yellow color forms. It is a great mistake to attribute the engineering of this stripe color, which is the result of the apparent work of some proteins, to protein molecules that are unconscious and devoid of science, power, will and strength. It is clearly seen here that the Supreme Creator makes these molecules a veil for His own knowledge, will, and might.

Figure 7. The formation of stripes in the squirrel. a) Proportional stripe formation. b) Gene expression levels. c) color formation mechanism in squirrels. [11]

In addition to the aforementioned stripe structure, stripe forms having different shapes of patterns are also seen in Figure 8. As a result of the combination of proteins, the living body is woven virtually like a carpet.

Figure 8. Different shapes of stripes in squirrels.[12]

In humans, a mutation in the protein gene called MITF results in a genetic condition called Waardenburg syndrome type 2 (Figure 9). This means that the change of DNA bases, that is, DNA codes by mutation, can cause diseases in living beings. This shows that living beings are created with all of their features. Mutations cannot make living beings better.

All this pattern structure, variety, shape and building style in living beings show the manifestation of the Creator’s infinite wisdom and will and reveal that there is no chance in anything.

Figure 9. Waardenburg syndrome type 2 occurs when the MITF transcription factor, which controls color formation in living beings, is mutated in humans. [13]

The Formation of Skin and Eye Color in Man

Eye color variation among humans depends on the amount and type of melanin pigment, the number of melanosomes, and differences in the distribution of those melanosomes. 16 different genes are responsible for the eye color formation. However, according to recent studies, it has been understood that two important genes in chromosome 15 are responsible for the formation of eye color. They are the HERC2 and OCA2 genes.[14]

As it can be seen in Figure 10, the brown eye color occurs in the upper DNA sequence of the OCA2 gene when a single DNA code is “T” in a specific region in the sequence. When “T” is replaced by “C”, the blue eye color is formed.

Figure 10. Locus control region single nucleotide change. [15]

The other eye colors are related to the type of the melanin that is produced, and the combination and density of the other melanin that is  produced. Similarly, as it can be seen in Figure 10, the black and blond hair color seen in people living in European countries is caused by the change of a single nucleotide in the upper region of the gene encoding a protein called KITLG from “A“ to ”G”. [16]

All of these conditions are a polymorphism and occur in a controlled manner like SNP (like single nucleotide polymorphism), which produces external image differences in humans. It is contrary to science to say “micro evolution and random changes made living beings perfect” though different images are displayed in a controlled manner with such small changes. It has been scientifically shown that a small uncontrolled change causes serious health problems in living beings. So, the alternative codes for these small changes in living beings are already in DNA. As a result of the mating of living beings, they can occur in different combinations. In humans, the OCA2 gene also plays a role in iris, skin and hair color. Although this gene plays a role in normal pigmentation, a mutation in the gene causes Oculocutaneous albinism (absence of pigment). [17] If melanin production stops completely, the absence of albinism pigment occurs throughout the body.

The Formation of Feather Color in Birds

In birds, colors are obtained from melanin, which is produced from melanocyte cells, just like in mammals, as well as carotenoids, a number of other chemical molecules and many pigment materials. The diversity of colors in birds is mostly coded by genes but also occurs due to some reasons like food, temperature, breeding season, hormones, etc. As it can be seen in Figure 11, this regular color and shape diversity and arrangement, which even a painter will have difficulty in drawing, is related to the genes’ opening and closing with combination.

Figure 11. The Diversity caused by colors in feathers. [18]

It is clear that this diversity of colors is the work of the Supreme Creator and occurs based on a program. Materialistic philosophy claims that this variety of colors emerges on its own and under the influence of the environment. This claim is similar to the construction of a building or a magnificent palace without an engineer and architect, on its own, by the influence of the environment and nature, or by the stones’changing automatically. This view is contrary to science and reason.

Genetic Variation in Living Beings and the Effect of the Environment

Genetic variation in living beings is quite diverse. Genetic variation is closely related to the environment in which the living being is located. The phenotype (external image) due to genetic diversity can also cause a living being to remain there or to migrate. This may lead to an increase in the frequency of allele (alternative form of the gene) of some genes and shifting in one direction in a suitable environment. Thus, different phenotypic groups can form in different environments. This is due to the diversity of the genetic structure of the living being (Figure 12). It doesnot transform the living being into another one.

Figure 12. Red and black are dominant to yellow. Color polymorphism in Gouldian Finch. [19]

As it can be seen in Figure 13, living beings are created harmoniously with the environment they live in.

Figure 13. Fur color variation in the mice living in different environments. [20]

In 2010, Manceau et al. investigated the effect of the environment on fur color of mice. As a result of their genetic analysis, they found that although the genetic characteristics of these mice were very similar, there was still a difference. As it can be seen in the figure, it is clear that the relationship of these mice with their environment is closely related to their genetic structure. It is seen that this phenotypic variation of mice is caused by a genetic variation and that every living being lives within the boundaries of its own region.This is the result of the combination of genetics and life field that the Almighty Creator gave to those living beings. In other words, this diversity is already present in their genes; it can occur in alternative ways and become dominant in the region to which the living beingadapts, it is also related to migration to the environment in which the living being feels more comfortable and camouflaged because of its color characteristics. This statenever causes that living being to be transformed into another one. It originates from the fact that its gene becomes dominant due to intra-population mating in the population formed in a certain region because of its color compatibility.

How do we see colors?

It is certain that color formation in living beings is related to the intake of certain pigment substances with various nutrients. Colors in living beings become visible withthe reflectionof the received light at a certain wavelength. Color formation in living beings occurs based on a certain system as described above and is controlled by very complex mechanisms associated with one another. The formation of color becomes significant with the effect of light and the receptors in the eye.

Mutations in the genes involved in color formation seriously affect the colors that will occur. Mutations cause color and pattern loss as well as diseases in living beings. [21] All this color variety is created originally and is diversified in a controlled way.

So, the concept we call color becomes significant with pigments, the reception and perception of the light reflected from light and living beings. No matter what color occurs, its value is closely related to the eye that will see it. If there is no eye, color has no significance.

The being that knowsand creates color knows that color will occur with the effect of light. Therefore, the one that creates light is also the one that creates color. The one that creates color is the one that creates the eye and what the eye sees. This shows that the diversity of colors in living beings emerges as a requirement of Allah’s names of al-Mulawwin (the Giver ofColor), al-Jamil (the Beautiful One), al-Muzayyin (the Decorator) and al-Hakim (the Perfectly Wise).

Camouflage and Natural Selection in Living Beings

Kettlewell’s study with moths (Biston betularia) on natural selection, which is frequently mentioned in biology books, has been criticized and shown as unreliable by many scientific publications and articles. [22]

In his study with moths, Kettlewell argued that during the industrial revolution in England, the trees became black due to industrial pollution, and that of the black and white moths (Biston betularia), the black ones were protected better from birds by camouflaging on the tree trunks and survived. He claimed that the white-colored moths were recognized by the birds and hunted because they were more noticeable on the black trees. However, further studies showed that both Kettlewell’s experiment and its results were flawed. Kettlewell made the following mistakes in his experiment:

  1. The varieties he used in the experiment were wild moths and moths grown in the laboratory. He mixed them up
  2. Although moths moved at night, the experiment began during the day.
  3. Although the amount of moths he placed in the forest is high, the number of samples he caught was quite low to confirm the experiment.
  4. It was determined that moths had a low tendency to settle in tree hollows. After 40 years of intensive research, only two moths were found in such a position. It was found that Kettlewell glued the moths that he had killed onto the tree trunks and then photographed them. In fact, it was found that it was not possible to obtain a real moth photograph on tree trunks as moths rested under branches.

Conclusion

Many genes cause color formation in living beings. Along with this information encoded in genes, many factors such as the age of the living being, light, temperature, nutrition and hormone secretion also influence colors.

Colors are made in melanocyte and chromatophore cells, depending on the species. Melanocyte cells originate from neural crest cells and cause color formation in mammals and birds. Chromatophores are found in frogs, fish, reptiles, crustaceans and cephalopods. They are the cells that contain pigments and reflect light. In cold-blooded animals, they cause the formation of the skin and eye color to a great extent and they are produced from neural crest cells during embryonic development.

The first ancestors of all these living beings were created by Allah out of nothing. When the subspecies of a species are crossed, hybrids are formed and different color combinations may occur.

Mature chromatophores are classified according to their ability to produce color under white light. Of these, xanthophores cause the formation of yellow, erythrophores red, iridophores silver, leukophores white, melanophores black/brown and cyanophores blue color. Chromatophores also cause color formation in some species of bacteria.

The diversity of colors in living beings is under the control of Allah’snames al-Hakim (the Perfectly Wise), al-Mulawwin (the Giver of Color), al-Jamil (the Beautiful One) and al-Muzayyin (the Decorator). The formation of color becomes significant with the effect of light and the receptors in the eye. The being that knows and creates color knows that color will occur with the effect of light. The being that knows the intensity of light knows the sensitivity of the eye too. Therefore, the one that creates color is also the one that creates light. The one that creates color is the one that creates the eye and the receptors in the eye. Mutations in the genes seriously affect the color and the recipient eye depending on the region.

Mutations cause color and pattern loss as well as diseases in living beings. This shows that all this color diversity is created and controlled in an original way.

Mutations cause color and pattern loss as well as diseases in living beings This shows that all this color variety is created originally and is diversified in a controlled way.

In conclusion, we can say that the first ancestors of all these living beings were created by Allah out of nothing. When the subspecies of a species are crossed, hybrids are formed and different color combinations may occur. The offspring that are born asa result of the mating of one species with other species cannot continue their lineage; or,their lineage ends after one or two generations.

The variations in colors are the result of the combination of alternative codes placed by the Creator in genes. The variety of colors in living beings is placedby Allah  in combination with their genes according to the environment in which they live or will be able to live. That phenotypic image becomes dominant with the migration of the living being to another life environment where it is camouflaged and feels more comfortable. It is clearly seen that even a single nucleotide change (SNP) in the diversity and variation in hair and eye color is controlled by such regular mechanisms. This is the result of alternative structures found in genes.

 The issue of speciation through micro-evolution is a complete fallacy for the reasons we have described above. It is clearly seen that living beings cannot turn to another species as a result of random micro-change in the course of time because random changes cause the living beings to become sick and to be winnowed out of the population through death or not to continue their lineage. It is not possible for a species to emerge by chance as a result of mutations and mechanisms such as environmental impact or natural selection in the course of timeaccording to  scientific methods and the calculus of probability.

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[2] Mayor, R., Eric, T., The role of the non-canonical Wnt–planar cell polarity pathway in neural crest migration. Biochemical Journal. 2013,10, 457 (1) 19-26.
[3] Anonymous 1, 2017. https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/Neural_Crest_ Development
[4] Sturm, R. A. ve Larsson, M., Genetics of human iris colour and patterns. Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. 2009, 22; 544–562.
[5] Grønskov, K., Ek, J and Brondum-Nielsen, K., Oculocutaneous albinism, Orphanet. Journal of Rare Diseases, 2007, 2:43.
[6] Adapted from Strain, G. M., The genetics of deafness in domestic animals. Frontiers in Veterinary Science. 2015, 2, 29. ; Bellono, N. W, Escobar, I. E., and Oancea, E., A melanosomal two-pore sodium channel regulates pigmentation. Scientific Reports. 2016, 6:26570, DOI: 10.1038/srep26570
[7] Hoekstra, H.E, The secret of a natural blond. Nature Genetics 2014, 46, 7.
[8] Anonymous 2, 2017. https://i.ytimg.com/vi/d_yYC5r8xMI/maxresdefault.jpg
[9] Anonymous 4, 2017. https://biology.stackexchange.com/questions/35713/what-is-happening-when -we-get-a-tan/35716
[10] Anonymous 5, 2017. http://www.wikizero.net/index.php?q= aHR0cHM6Ly9lbi53aWtpcGVkaWE ub3JnL3dpa2kvTWVsYW5vbWE
Anonymous 6. http://www.natural-health-news.com/eye-melanoma-eye-tumor/
[11] Mallarino, R., Henegar, C., Mirasierra, M., Manceau,M., Schradin, C., Vallejo, M., Beronja, S., Barsh, G.S., & Hoekstra, H.,E., Developmental mechanisms of stripe patterns in rodents. 2016. Nature.539, 24 November, 518-523.
[12] Anonymous 7, 2017, http://www.wikizero.net/index.php?q=aHR0cHM6Ly9lbi53aWtpcGVkaWE ub3JnL3dpa2kvRmlsZTpUaGlydGVlbi1saW5lZF9ncm91bmRfc3F1aXJyZWwuanBn
Anonymous 8, 2017. https://www.flickr.com/photos/neoporcupine/2095389732
[13] Gaikwad, R.P., Mukherjee,S., Saha, A.,  Naphade, P., Waardenburg syndrome type 2. Indian Journal of Paediatric Dermatology. 2015, Vol 16, Issue 3.
[14] Sturm, R. A. and Larsson, M., Genetics of human iris colour and patterns. Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. 2009, 22; 544–562.
[15] Visser, M, Kayser,M., Grosveld, F., and Palstra, R.J., Genetic variation in regulatory DNA elements: the case of OCA2 transcriptional regulation. Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. 2014, 27; 169–177.
[16] Hoekstra, 2014, ibid.
[17] Donnelly, M.P., Paschou, P., Grigorenko, E., Gurwitz, D., Barta, C., Lu, R.B., Zhukova, O.V., Kim, J.J., Siniscalco, M., New, M., Li, H., Kajuna, S.L.B., Manolopoulos, V.G., Speed,W.C., Pakstis,A.J., Kidd, J.R., Kidd, K.K., A global view of the OCA2-HERC2 region and Pigmentation. 2011, Hum Genet, 131:683–696, doi 10.1007/s00439-011-1110-x
[18] Lin, S. J., Foley, J., Jiang, T.X.,  Yeh, C.Y.,  Wu, P., Foley,A., Yen, C.M, Huang,Y.C., Cheng, H.C., Chen, F.C, Reeder, B., Jee, S.H., Widelitz, R.B., Chuong C.M., Topology of Feather Melanocyte Progenitor Niche Allows Complex Pigment Patterns to Emerge. Science. 2013, 340, 1442.
[19] Pryke, S.R ve  Griffith, S.C. Red dominates black: agonistic signalling among head morphs in the colour polymorphic Gouldian finch. Proc. 2006, R. Soc. B 273, 949–957.
[20] Manceau, M., Domingues, V.S., Linnen,C.R., Rosenblum, E.B., Hoekstra, H.E., Convergence in pigmentation at multiple levels: mutations, genes and function. Marie. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci., 2010, 365(1552): 2439–2450.
[21] Donnelly et al. ibid
[22] Coyne, J.A., , Evolution under pressure (Not black and White. Melanism: Evolution in Action by Michael E. N. Majerus). 2002, Nature, 396.

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