All blue-eyed humans have common ancestor

New research shows that people with blue eyes have a single, common ancestor. A team at the University of Copenhagen have tracked down a genetic mutation which took place 6-10,000 years ago and is the cause of the eye colour of all blue-eyed humans alive on the planet today. “Originally, we all had brown eyes.”New research shows that people with blue eyes have a single, common ancestor. A team at the University of Copenhagen have tracked down a genetic mutation which took place 6-10,000 years ago and is the cause of the eye colour of all blue-eyed humans alive on the planet today.

“Originally, we all had brown eyes”, said Professor 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”. The OCA2 gene codes for the so-called P protein, which is involved in the production of melanin, the pigment that gives colour to our hair, eyes and skin. The “switch”, which is located in the gene adjacent to OCA2 does not, however, turn off the gene entirely, but rather limits its action to reducing the production of melanin in the iris – effectively “diluting” brown eyes to blue. The switch’s effect on OCA2 is very specific therefore. If the OCA2 gene had been completely destroyed or turned off, human beings would be without melanin in their hair, eyes or skin colour – a condition known as albinism.

Variation in the colour of the eyes from brown to green can all be explained by the amount of melanin in the iris, but blue-eyed individuals only have a small degree of variation in the amount of melanin in their eyes. “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.” Brown-eyed individuals, by contrast, have considerable individual variation in the area of their DNA that controls melanin production.

Professor Eiberg and his team examined mitochondrial DNA and compared the eye colour of blue-eyed individuals in countries as diverse as Jordan, Denmark and Turkey. His findings are the latest in a decade of genetic research, which began in 1996, when Professor Eiberg first implicated the OCA2 gene as being responsible for eye colour.
Nature shuffles our genes

The mutation of brown eyes to blue represents neither a positive nor a negative mutation. It is one of several mutations such as hair colour, baldness, freckles and beauty spots, which neither increases nor reduces a human’s chance of survival. 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.”


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458 thoughts on “All blue-eyed humans have common ancestor”

  1. Dum asses, tricks are for kids. God does not exist ,never did never will,fantasy, hear say, no proof,
    Same proof said Santa is real, books,
    Legends etc. Grow up ,smell the coffee, care about people first as people. Stop hating each other,we are all animals on a lone planet we all live on together. It’s the only planet we can live on , so stop destroying it. Once it’s gone we all are gone. But not to heaven or hell.just gone. Peice out.

  2. Dum asses, tricks are for kids. God does not exist ,never did never will,fantasy, hear say, no proof,
    Same proof said Santa is real, books,
    Legends etc. Grow up ,smell the coffee,

  3. I have blue eyes and my fiance is black. Her grandfather was white like me and also had blue eyes. Possible blue eyes.

    • 1 person that they are all descended from, so 1 man/woman is the great great great great, etc etc, grandad/grandmother

  4. I realize I’m a few months late checking in on this one but I only came to this page to help my daughter with her biology homework. Thank you so much for the info the research will be very helpful for her. But the comments, such a great example of a microcosm of humanity. I LOVE IT. The daily intolerance we put each other through is scientific proof that God’s Word is ABSOLUTELY TRUE. If you get a chance read the Bible alongside ANY science books/journals (page for page or however you can manage to balance the weight of both at the same time) the result will change your life. But as I have said before great research; common ancestor might have been one of Noah’s Boy’s :) 10-6000 years ago…I see what you did there.

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  12. Smugness is so distasteful. I can’t stand smug atheists who claim all religious people are superstitious, racist, and ignorant. Modern science was helped along by Christianity (the father of genetics was a monk, for crying out loud), and (most) religions and science can fit together quite well.
    There is also a BIG difference between church people and those who truly study their religions.
    I’m fascinated by new discoveries, and haven’t seen a scientific breakthrough that changes my mind about the existence of God (I’m a Christian).

    • I’m pretty sure Christians labelled most scientific thinkers as heretics for a very long time until they realized what wrongs they were doing.

      • Seriously, Jake??? The history of science began with people who believed in God (a very very few did not). They were rejected by both the secular and the church communities. It is shocking to me that people always have to bring the faith point up. Science is science, it doesn;t matter if the scientist believes in God or not. The scientist is supposed to be unbiased – a collector of facts. If we rejected everything discovered by those who had different beliefs/ideas than us, we would be without light bulbs and telephones, and germs would still be completely unknown, It took soooo long for people to believe that germs existed simply because they could not see them. Science belongs to those who believe in God and those who don’t. The name calling and rejection has happened on both sides. I wonder when that will stop.

    • While science isn’t proving to you the fact there is no God. To others who aren’t fearfull of death it’s obvious. Christianity helping science didn’t create science, science owes nothing to any religion all religion has done mostly is try discredit proven science!

      It’s such a shame that we use the word religion when truely it should be Cult. Just because one cult has a much larger population than another cult shouldnt earn it the right for a different name to what it excatly is a brain washing sad cult.

  13. Google eye color vs. I.Q.

    as far as religion ,it has no relevance in a scientific debate.Religion is no more than a pyschological tool for the week minded to have meaning.So leave that **** at the door.And as far as americans 99.9 percant of us are morons,but thats no difference from anywhere else.

    Religion makes us believe in hocus pocus,and racism.Science shows how these traits are genitic mutations,and yes some are superior to others in differant ways.

  14. mmmm is the focous on humans or on how stupid and pety we can be? he said she said they all said…..why dont i care? i dont care if i porpously misspelled words on porpouse or not but il bet that just bellow me on this page there will be all of the above because i didnt side with one or the other but as the whole to look upon the mess called humanity…..god bless you all…poor bastards….lol :)

  15. I am so sick of my country being lumped as a whole in to the “stupid American” thing…there are some seriously stupid, bat **** crazy, racist, bigoted morons here, yep.

    Just like every other country!

  16. Slightly misleading to suggest that hair colour has no effect on survivability. Lighter hair colours such as blonde and ginger are far more common in northern countries like scotland and scandanavia because they also cause light skin which allows better absorbtion of light in the dark winters. Eskimos are excempt because they eat so much fish they don’t need the sunlight for vitamin D.

    • Slightly misleading to suggest that sunlight is the source of vitamin D. We get our vitamins from the foods we eat, the sun is simply necessary to PROCESS vitamin D.
      Considering you also can’t spell “exempt”, I wouldn’t peg you as the most knowledgeable source of information on this web page.

  17. well it seems a few religious nuts have commented on this and some racists and also some idiots hmmm well 1.religiuos uts/diots shut up 2. racists read a F@$KING book and get your dumb ass ideals out of your heads it’s a thread about eyes for christs sake not a religious/race based. also i’m getting the hint that lot of you people are americans no? maybe that ight explain some of the narrow minded comments

    • So you decide to pave a road of rants here and there thats fine with me. I dont respect bigots either, but you obviously are a very ignorant person to incinuate that about americans. Sounds like you have now coined yourself a racist fool as well. By the way your comment it very “narrow minded” hope you enjoy being a hypocrite. Ciao.

    • “i’m getting the hint that lot of you people are americans no”

      hmmm – I sense a hypocrite railing against sterotypes

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