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Structural properties of melanin.

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The major pigment found in the skin, hair, and eyes of humans and other animals are melanins. Despite significant research efforts, the current understanding of the molecular structure of melanins, the assembly of the pigment within its organelle, and the structural consequences of the association of melanins with protein and metal cations is limited. Likewise, a detailed understanding of the photochemical and photophysical properties of melanins has remained elusive. Advances in the understanding of the structure and function of melanins require careful characterization of the pigments examined so as to assure the data obtained may be relevant to the properties of the pigment in vivo. This talk will examine recent efforts to characterize the molecular composition, structural morphology, and aerobic photoreactivity of melanins.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2004

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