Eye Color Genetics:
Your Eye Color Says about You and Your Genetics
your eyes are blue, brown, or greenor somewhere in between
these three most common shadestheir hue reveals more about
you than just what color shirt youll look good in.
long been known that eye color is a predictor of certain diseases.
For instance, people with blue or other light-colored eyes are known
to be more light-sensitive.
is because they have less pigment to protect them from sunlight,
which puts them at greater risk for macular degeneration and cataracts.
An increased risk of uveal melanoma has been found in those with
blue, green, or gray iris color.
a yellowing of the whites of the eyes is one of the signs of liver
disease, including malaria and hepatitis.
recently, attention has been paid to the connection between eye
color and sports performance.
at the University of Louisville found that brown-eyed people were
better at fast-paced activities that involved quick reaction times,
such as hitting a baseball or boxing, while blue-eyed people performed
better in self-paced athletic tasks, such as hitting a golf ball
or throwing a baseball.
studies have also claimed that brown-eyed people or those with dark-colored
irises react faster, due to quicker reflexes, as compared to light-eyed
men hit a tennis ball better than light-eyed men in forehand rallies
and hit a target with a Frisbee more times than light-eyed students.
These faster reaction times may be explained by another test: it
has been found that dark-eyed subjects are more responsive to arousing
visual and auditory stimuli than light-eyed subjects.
youre a blue-eyed athlete, dont despair: There are some
reports that blue-eyed folks are better strategy thinkers
than those with dark eyes. That is probably why they are good at
sports like golf or other activities that require planning and time-structuring.
A. Sturm, a fellow at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at
the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, notes that
these reports are mixed: about half see some effect, the others
not. More research needs to be done.
what about those babies who are born with one eye color and in a
few years develop another? Often, newborns have blue eyes (this
is possibly the origin of the expression baby blues),
which change to green, hazel, light brown, or dark brown.
is thought that exposure to light after birth triggers the production
of melanin in the iris. At around the age of 3, childrens
eyes have produced and stored enough melanin to indicate their natural
changes in infants eye color are fairly common, even in adults,
eye color can change. "Some eyes become darker, but most become
lighter with increasing age," says Sturm.
unlike skin and hair, do not synthesize color pigment continuously.
Instead, eyes keep pigment granules made earlier. So, if the pigment
degrades, most often as a result of exposure to the sun, the eye
while these results are interesting, the science is not yet strong
enough to tell if your blue-eyed son should try out for the Yankees
or emulate Tiger Woods.
scientists have concluded that the mutation for blue eyes probably
arose in a single individual in the Near East 6,000 to 10,000 years
agosuggesting that your son and all other people with blue
eyes come from the same ancestor.
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