Albinism is a genetic illness that occurs when an individual has little or no melanin in their skin, eyes and hair. The first person to scientifically recognize this illness was known as Sir Archibald Garrod. This was done in the year 1908. One of his books known as Inborn Errors of Metabolism was released in 1909 and distinguished chemical individuality as the basis of the illness. In another of his books, Garrod stated that some individuals were predisposed to diseases more than others. To date this scientist’s research has been used as the basis of a lot of research concerning genetic diseases.
Although the disease had been recognized in earlier times, it is Sir Archibald Garrod who discovered it as an illness and went further to conduct extensive research on it. Early scholars in Roman history like Plinius Secundus as well as Aulus Gellius have mentioned the disease in their literature but none had a scientific angle to explain it. The word Albinism is a derivative of a Latin word Albus which means white. Due to the lack of pigmentation the appearance of people with albinism have distinctively white colored skin and hair while their eyes are normally blue, brown or hazel.