Monday, October 23, 2006

Smoke of a distant fire

One of my Bloglines subscriptions is to Biology News Net. It's a great way to keep up with some of the highlights of biological research without scanning the journals. (I'd like to think that I'd use my training in molecular biology again one day.)

One of the articles regarding eye color preference was interesting.

Their studies, published this week in the Springer journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, show that blue-eyed men find blue-eyed women more attractive than brown-eyed women. According to the researchers, it is because there could be an unconscious male adaptation for the detection of paternity, based on eye color.

You even get a quick genetics review (or a first time class):

The laws of genetics state that eye color is inherited as follows:

  1. If both parents have blue eyes, the children will have blue eyes.
  2. If both parents have brown eyes, a quarter of the children will have blue eyes, and three quarters will have brown eyes. (This depends entirely if one of the parents has a blue allele.) Note added by me.
  3. The brown eye form of the eye color gene (or allele) is dominant, whereas the blue eye allele is recessive.

In essence, a man with blue eyes has more confidence in the child's paternity if his mate is blue-eyed as well. Of course, you have to take into account that the mother could fool around with another blue-eyed man thereby fooling with this hypothesis.

Ooops! Forgot the link to the whole article. Sorry. I am a natural blonde.


Trax said...

Good thing Big R didn't agree w/this research since I'm brown eyed and he is blue.

jarhead john said...

My wife and I both have brown eyes. Well, my wife's are very light, but still pretty much brown. Both of our kids have blue eyes.

Some tactful woman asked my wife in the supermarket one day who the father was. I commended my wife on her patience.

Both "grandpas" have blue eyes, so that recessive 1/4 came through for both of our children.

Sarabeth said...

My father had blue eyes and my mother has brown eyes. Both Maverick and I have light eyes, which means my mom has a recessive gene from her father. I say light eyes instead of blue because Mav's eye (the picture in the post) is a grey-blue and mine are blue somedays and green the next.

Yes, JJ, that was a tactless question to your wife. Some people!

Trixie said...

I am a blue eyed girl married to a brown eyed boy. Wonder if our adopted babies will cause a stir like JJ?

Maverick said...

I thought that eye looked familiar!!!!

Kell said...

What about this one? My mother has blue eyes. My father has green eyes. I have green eyes. My older sister has green eyes. My oldest sister, however, has one blue eye and one brown eye. What kind of allele do you need for the David-Bowie-One-Two-Brown-Blue Punch?

Sarabeth said...

Kell, your older sister is a witch and has been marked.

Seriously, I have no idea, but I'll look into it.

Sarabeth said...

Kell-- she has an excess of pigment. You can read a pretty good overview of heterochromia.