Cliff Tabin and Abigail Wark
Harvard Medical School
The areola is a circle of specialized, pigmented skin surrounding the human nipple. These marking are ubiquitous in people, yet the origin and function of the areola remain mysterious. Experimentally, areolas are an ideal research target because circular markings have a simple genetic architecture. This makes the areola an intriguing and practical case study into the genetic architecture of distinctive human traits.
The goals of the Circles study are to 1) characterize diversity in the structure and appearance of the areola and 2) discover the genes responsible for the areola’s characteristics. We invite any adult women and men who have undergone personal genetic sequencing to join our study. To get started, click below to request your areola study kit by mail. Once it arrives, you will be guided to our online survey. Participation takes place in your home and should take less that an hour.
This project requests the following permissions from members that join it: