Saturday, 23 August 2008

Scientist: All Blue-Eyed People Are Related

I saw the following article on quite a few sites. It seems, I'm related to Brad Pitt, as well as some of the loveliest people I've ever met!

If you've got blue eyes, shake the hand of the nearest person who shares your azure irises: He or she may be a distant cousin.

Danish researchers have concluded that all blue-eyed people share a common ancestor, presumably someone who lived 6,000 to 10,000 years ago.

"Originally, we all had brown eyes," Professor Hans Eiberg of the University of Copenhagen said in a press release. "But a genetic mutation affecting the OCA2 gene in our chromosomes resulted in the creation of a 'switch,' which literally 'turned off' the ability to produce brown eyes."

That "switch" — a simple change from "A," or adenine, to "G," or guanine, in the DNA — actually sits next to the OCA2 gene, which regulates the pigmentation of our eyes, hair and skin, and hence has only a limiting effect on it.

If the mutation had completely deactivated OCA2, all blue-eyed people would be albinos.

Eiberg and his team analyzed 155 individuals in a large Danish family, plus several blue-eyed people born in Turkey and Jordan.


Kristin said...

That is really fascinating...and, if true, it means we are distantly related because my mom has beautiful blue eyes.

Daughter of the Midwest said...

Welcome to the family! My dad has beautiful ice blue eyes that he inherited from his mother and her family. I think we will call you Aunt Bliss. Cause Dad's sister is an awesome auntie.