Blue eyes traced to one person

It turns out that there's some complicated interaction between the pigment and the iris that leads to brown eyes. Green is halfway and brown eyes are heavy on melanin.

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Don't worry — it's nothing serious, but all is not as it seems. Blue eyes are actually a genetic mutation. But, actually, no one has blue eyes. Actually, all eyes are brown. Green eyes and hazel eyes are But the pigment only comes in one shade. And that pigment itself is Got all that?

How one ancestor helped turn our brown eyes blue | The Independent

The less melanin you have, the more blue your eyes look. Eye color depends on the amount of a single type of pigment called melanin in the iris of the eye.

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  4. The Amount Of Melanin In The Iris Explains The Eye Color.
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  6. How The Genetic Mutation Affected The OCA2 Gene And Resulted In The Birth Of Blue Eyes.

This genetic switch, located in the gene next to the OCA2 gene, limits the production of melanin in the iris — effectively "diluting" brown eyes to blue. In addition to having significantly less melanin in their iris than people with brown eyes, hazel eyes or green eyes , blue-eyed individuals have only a small degree of variation in their genetic coding for melanin production.

People with blue eyes all share the same ancestor apparently

Brown-eyed individuals, on the other hand, have considerable individual variation in the area of their DNA that controls melanin production. So if blue eyes are the result of a genetic mutation in a single individual, how did the trait spread from just one person to being present in 20 to 40 percent of the populations of some European countries today?

One theory is that blue eyes were immediately considered an attractive feature, causing people to seek mates with blue eyes to have children with, enabling the genetic mutation to multiply. As mentioned above, blue eye color is determined by something called melanin.

How Blue Eyes Came To Exist Through One Ancestor's Genetic Mutation

Melanin is a brown pigment that controls the color of our skin, eyes and hair. The color of our eyes depends on how much melanin is present in the iris. There's only brown pigment in the eye — there is no hazel pigment or green pigment or blue pigment.

At one time, it was believed that eye color — including blue eyes — was a simple genetic trait, and therefore you could predict a child's eye color if you knew the color of the parents' eyes and perhaps the color of the grandparents' eyes. But geneticists now know that eye color is influenced by as many as 16 different genes to some degree — not just one or two genes as once thought.

If You Have Blue Eyes, You’re Related to A Lot More People Than You Thought

Also, the anatomic structure of the iris can affect eye color to some degree. So it's impossible to know for sure if your children will have blue eyes. Even if you and your mate both have blue eyes, that's no guarantee your child's eyes will also be blue. Here's a royal example of the unpredictability of eye color: Princess Charlotte, the young daughter of blue-eyed Prince William and green-eyed Kate Middleton, has blue eyes. But her brother, Prince George, has very brown eyes. The human eye does not have its full adult amount of pigment at birth.

Because of this, many babies have blue eyes, but their eye color changes as the eye develops during early childhood and more melanin is produced in the iris.

1. All blue-eyed people may have a common ancestor

So don't be concerned if your child begins to lose that "baby blue" eye color and her eyes become green or hazel or brown as she gets a little older. Melanin in the iris of the eye appears to help protect the back of the eye from damage caused by UV radiation and high-energy visible "blue" light from sunlight and artificial sources of these rays.

Because blue eyes contain less melanin than green, hazel or brown eyes, they may be more susceptible to damage from UV and blue light.