The genetics of human eye color are much more complex than previously thought, according to a new study released today.
An international team of researchers led by King’s College London and Erasmus University Rotterdam Medical Center has identified 50 new genes for eye color in the largest genetic study of its kind to date. The study, published today in Scientific progress, involved the genetic analysis of nearly 195,000 people in Europe and Asia.
These findings will help improve the understanding of eye diseases such as pigmentary glaucoma and ocular albinism, where eye pigment levels play a role.
In addition, the team found that eye color in Asians with varying shades of brown is genetically similar to eye color in Europeans ranging from dark brown to light blue.
This study builds on previous research in which scientists identified a dozen genes related to eye color, believing there to be many more. Previously, scientists believed that variation in eye color was controlled by just one or two genes, with brown eyes dominating blue eyes.
Co-lead author Dr Pirro Hysi, King’s College London, said: “The results are exciting as they bring us closer to understanding the genes behind one of the most striking features of human faces. , which has mystified generations through our It will improve our understanding of many diseases that we know are associated with specific pigmentation levels. “
Co-lead author Dr Manfred Kayser, Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam, said:
“This study provides the genetic knowledge necessary to improve the prediction of eye color from DNA as already applied in anthropological and forensic studies, but with limited accuracy for non-brown and non-blue eye colors. . “
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Material provided by King’s College London. Note: Content can be changed for style and length.