Tag Archive | eye color

The DNA of eye color: it’s complicated

In high school I learned that blue eyes were a simple recessive gene so two brown-eyed parents could have a blue-eyed child but not vice versa. Recently I discovered that this was wrong. Many genes are involved in eye color and with the subtle variations in eye coloring.

GEDmatch eye color prediction for me

GEDmatch.com eye color prediction for me

So I ran the fun eye color calculator at GEDmatch.com and discovered that it shows many of the SNPs involved in my eye color with the details of what they each do.

I had not realized that blue eyes are caused by the lack of (brown) melanin, so really are no color. Blue happens the same way the color of the sky does: light is bounced around in a way that appears blue according to the wikipedia article on eye color. Maybe that is why my eyes appear greenish when I wear certain green shirts and turquoise when I wear those color shirts.

If the two blue-eyed parents have their lack of eye color melanin caused by different genes then they could have a brown-eyed child. I happen to know a brown-eyed child of green and blue-eyed parents (and she looks just like her Dad so not what you are thinking). This case got me curious about how that could happen. So I googled around and found this wonderful article that explains it: http://genetics.thetech.org/how-blue-eyed-parents-can-have-brown-eyed-children

Here is my attempt to simplify the ghist of that article:

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