Since all blue-eyed humans have the same DNA, researchers believe the mutated gene can be traced back to an individual ancestor that lived near the Black Sea 6,000-10,000 years ago. This ancestor is therefore the cause of the estimated 300 million humans with blue eyes (Tyson, 2009).
However, HERC2 gene doesn’t seem to relate to eye color but OCA2 does relate. HERC2 gene consequently shuts off the OCA2 gene. Thus, the non-working OCA2 gene results in blue eyes. OAC2 gene can cause an ever-present pigmentation or lack of pigmentation which leads to eye color. A lack of pigmentation results in blue eyes (Cunningham, 2008).
Potential reasons for naturally selecting blue eyes…
· Better absorption of Vitamin D—promotes healthy bones and teeth
· A result of sexual selecting this trait—blue eyes are sexier
· Blue-eyed population in Northern Europe were successful in maintaining survival and producing offspring without outside influence or interference (Cunninham, 2008)
Cunningham, K. (2008). A single DNA difference in the HERC2 gene explains blue eyes: changes in the non-coding region of HERC2 are responsible for eye colors other than brown. The tech: museum of innovation. Retrieved from http://genetics.thetech.org/original_news/news76
Tyson, P. (2009). Are we still evolving? PBS. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/evolution/are-we-still-evolving.html.
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