Thursday, June 05, 2008
Orcadian Mutants (IX)
People with blue eyes have a single, common ancestor. A team of scientists has tracked down a genetic mutation that leads to blue eyes. The mutation occurred between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago. Before then, there were no blue eyes. “Originally, we all had brown eyes,” said Hans Eiberg from the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of Copenhagen.
There’s a nice explanation of science behind understanding the genetic change and how it can be traced back to a single individual. And this closing bit:
“The question really is, ‘Why did we go from having nobody on Earth with blue eyes 10,000 years ago to having 20 or 40 percent of Europeans having blue eyes now?” Hawks said. “This gene does something good for people. It makes them have more kids.”