Am I Blue?
The allure of blue eyes has long been celebrated. In the Odyssey, Homer gives the goddess Athena “bright blue eyes,” and our fascination persists to this day with actors like Brad Pitt and Naomi Watts. Until recently, however, no one could explain the phenomena.
Research focussed on the OCA2 gene, iinvolved in the production of melanin and pigmentation. However, key to blue eyes wasn’t on the OCA2 gene but rather on a nearby gene called HERC2, that works like a switch that regulates the behavior of OCA2. Interestingly, the evidence suggests that this mutation is not one that has arisen spontaneously several times, but that all blue-eye people are descendants of a single man.