Yes, Blue-Eyed Humans Have a Single Common Ancestor

Yes, Blue-Eyed Humans Have a Single Common Ancestor

If you’ve heard the rumor, it’s true, even if hard to believe.

It’s hard to imagine millions of people all being related. When it comes to blue-eyed people however, and perhaps other groups if not all of humanity, this seems to be the case.

Research done at the University of Copenhagen indicates that people with blue eyes do indeed have a single common ancestor. It all dates back to a genetic mutation that took place 6,000 to 10,000 years ago.

“Originally, we all had brown eyes,” said Professor Hans Eiberg from the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine. “But a genetic mutation affecting the OCA2 gene in our chromosomes resulted in the creation of a “switch”, which literally “turned off” the ability to produce brown eyes.”

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The OCA2 gene codes regulate the color of your hair, eyes and skin. If the mutation hadn’t been as specific as it was, researchers say, it would have resulted in albinism, or being albino.

So, are blue eyes advantageous? Not necessarily. The mutation is neither positive nor negative, scientists point out. If you like blue and have the eyes, you’re simply in luck. (And if you don’t, it seems like you’re not).

Professor Eiberg says, “it (the mutation) simply shows that nature is constantly shuffling the human genome.”

Other mutations in the human gene code have led to varying hair colors, baldness, freckles, beauty spots and a lot more.

For more on the science of genetic mutations, click here.

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