Friday, February 01, 2008

Common Ancestry for Blue Eyes

World Science is reporting on a study indicating that blue eye color was a mutation that took hold some 6 to 10 000 years ago.

“O­rig­i­nally, we all had brown eyes,” said one of the re­search­ers, Hans Eiberg. But a muta­t­ion af­fect­ing a gene called OCA2 “re­sulted in the crea­t­ion of a ‘switch’ which lit­er­ally turned off the abil­ity to pro­duce brown eyes.”

A bit further comes this gem, which shows the power of evolution in populations.

The muta­t­ion of brown eyes to blue is nei­ther pos­i­tive nor neg­a­tive, Eiberg said; rath­er, it’s one of sev­er­al muta­t­ions such as hair colour, bald­ness, freck­les and beau­ty spots, which nei­ther raise nor re­duce a per­son’s sur­viv­al chances. “It simply shows that na­ture is con­stantly shuf­fling the hu­man genome,” he said, “cre­at­ing a ge­net­ic cock­tail of hu­man chro­mo­somes and try­ing out dif­fer­ent changes.”


No comments:

Post a Comment