Monday, January 11, 2016

Article of the Week (January 11 - 15)

Mark Grove
Article of the Week
Honors Biology 4
January 5, 2016

This article talks about how the blue eye gene first came to be. According to their theories, scientists believe that everyone with blue eyes received that gene from one ancestor; thus, all blue-eyed people are distantly related. This unique mutation turns off the pigment of melanin, which gives color to your eyes, hair, and skin. The pigment is not completely missing, which would create an albino person; it is only decreased so that not as much melanin is produced.

I thought that this article was very interesting because of the pigment variation in different people. I liked when it talked about how the variation between brown and green eyes could be explained with the amount of melanin produced, and how it explained the cause of blue eyes so clearly. I also liked how the article told that blue eyes were a useless mutation that had no effect on survival of the human species.

In fact, one quote that interested me was this; as Professor Eiberg says, "it simply shows that nature is constantly shuffling the human genome, creating a genetic cocktail of human chromosomes and trying out different changes as it does so." This provokes my interest in human nature and how it affects so many other things that surround it. A second quote derives a conclusion from the melanin variation in blue-eyed people; "From this we can conclude that all blue-eyed individuals are linked to the same ancestor," says Professor Eiberg. "They have all inherited the same switch at exactly the same spot in their DNA."

This last quote leaves me with two questions in particular, how can a scientific conclusion be drawn from so little information, and what can we use this discovery to accomplish?


  1. I wonder how scientists think that people with blue eyes are distantly related with each other?

  2. This is interesting to me because I have blue eyes and now I know what caused them.

  3. Although it may not have any special application at the moment, I find the little tidbit to be intriguing, especially since it is a new fact about our own bodies.

  4. How did the first pair of blue eyes ever come up, and when?