Amino acids: Natural substances that are the building blocks of protein.
Astigmatism: An eye condition in which the lens doesn't focus light evenly on the retina, leading to problems with visual sharpness.
Carrier: A person with one normal gene and one faulty gene, who can pass on a condition to others without actually having symptoms.
Chromosome: In prokaryotes, the intact DNA molecule containing the genome. In eukaryotes, a DNA molecule complexed with RNA and protein into a threadlike structure containing a linear array of genes.
DNA:The abbreviation for "deoxyribonucleic acid," the primary carrier of genetic information found in the chromosomes of almost all organisms.
Deletion: Loss of a segment of DNA from a chromosome.
Enzyme: A protein that helps the body to convert one chemical substance to another.
Gene: The basic unit of genetic material.
Hairbulb: The root of a strand of hair from which the color develops.
Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome (HPS): A rare type of albinism characterized by a problem with blood clotting and a buildup of waxy material in lungs and intestines.
Inbreeding: Mating between two closely related organisms.
Melanin: Pigment made in the hair, skin and eyes.
Nystagmus: An involuntary back-and-forth movement of the Eyes.
DOPA: The common name for a natural chemical (3, 4-dihydroxyphenylalanine) made by the body during the process of making melanin.
Photophobia: Sensitivity of the eyes to bright lights and glare.
Platelets: one of three types of blood cells. The platelet is the smallest cellular element of the blood and is needed for proper clotting.
Strabismus: Crossed or "lazy" eyes, often found in albinism.
Sex chromosome: A chromosome involved in sex determination. An example is the X and Y chromosomes of humans.
Tyrosine: A protein building block found in a wide variety of foods that is used by the body to make melanin.
Tyrosinase: An enzyme in a pigment cell, which helps change tyrosine to DOPA during the process of making melanin.
Trait: A detectable phenotypic expression of an inherited characteristic.