eye color

Predicting eye color from DNA

Predicting eye color from DNA

Lately I’ve been curious about eye color. If you’ve seen some of my first few posts (there aren’t that many yet) I went over a few reasons why blue eyes are blue and showed an infographic that explained how iris color is determined. Well I found this webpage yesterday where a person posted their DNA results and what their predicted eye color should be versus what the person’s eye color actually is. I can’t confirm any of this and wasn’t sure about posting this but what the heck. It sounds interesting, the prediction was so accurate that it’s almost not believable.

Apparently the DNA results can be used to predict a phenotype….what you look like physically. I haven’t read what else this analysis can do but if it can predict eye color which requires a fair number of genetic combinations, I wonder if we could ever use DNA from, say, a baby, and then see what they might look like in 10, 15, 25 years. Now that would be cool. Maybe. What if you were the parent and didn’t like what your future child might look like or what if the predictions were some perfect human specimen for a sport or other career and then you tried to force your child into that? Maybe there are some ethical issues, as there are with a lot of things these days, that might either help or hurt how we “manage” our DNA and maybe even our offspring.

I’ve been tempted to try 23andme.com when I heard about it. They had some deal for $100 but not sure what it costs now. If you’ve done any DNA analysis like that, were you surprised at any of the results? The website I found apparently used a service called gedmatch.com to compare geneologies to DNA results. I’m curious what people find out and whether any of the information is useful or if it’s another way to take a few bills out of your pocket and to give you a little entertainment. Right now I bet it’s a little of both?

dna iris

Do you remember this picture of the Afghan girl?

Do you remember this picture of the Afghan girl?

I saw this picture of the Afghan girl and her eye color and never thought much about it some years ago. For some reason I saw another article about this on the internets and how the author or someone went back to Afghanistan and located the same girl, now a mature lady, and took some more pictures. Here eyes are still beautiful. They’re mesmerizing. I have some patients with eyes like that and they can be startling to see. Almost makes me forget there’s a person inside who’s like you and me. Really! I feel that way about some eyes.

What also is interesting in the picture below is how the facial changes make me wonder what those eyes have gone through over time. There’s a lot that’s happened to this little girl over time. If you could get a picture from when you were a child and recreate the same pose and compare them together, would you have a great story, and/or a difficult one to tell? I’d welcome any chance to see if you could put two pictures of yourself together and then hear what your story would be. I’ll try to get mine and see what I come up with. Stay tuned!

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2002/04/afghan-girl/index-text