Eye Colour - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-22-2010, 08:50 PM
 
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Umm... yeah it is... see my previous post.
I didn't say eye color couldn't change over time. Many people think eye color literally changes due to mood or clothing; it doesn't, but it looks like it does. I think it's something like 20% of all Caucasians can experience actual eye color change throughout life.

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Old 08-22-2010, 10:16 PM
 
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This is so interesting. My husband and I both have plain old blue eyes, and I assumed when our daughter was born that she would have to have blue eyes too. My 8th grade biology told me so

But here she is, green eyes. No question about it. It's a pale bluish green but definitely green, not at all the color of either of her parents.

We just chalked it up to her Irish grandmother and didn't think about it again so its interesting to find out that eye color is so much more nuanced than I had thought.

Also, to the original post, I think her eye color settled down around age 2 or so, but it's so hard to remember.

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Old 08-22-2010, 10:53 PM
 
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And red hair is even more complicated than we used to think- it's now thought that certain alleles will bring out certain hues in redheads- darker auburn hair is impacted by brunette alleles, that beautiful coppery-fire color is from straight-up red genes, etc.
Both my parents have brown hair, as does my older brother. My hair is red, somewhere between strawberry blonde and auburn.

Both of my husband's parents have brown hair and all four of the kids in his family have red hair. My SIL's hair is gorgeous and is a deep deep fiery red.

Our daughter's is red (not much of a choice there).

Anyway, nothing to do with eye color, but when they were doing the genome project they mapped the genes for red hair because there was this thought that genes that were involved with pigmentation were also involved in red hair and it could provide some answers regarding skin cancer and risk. Red Hair is caused by a mutation on Chromosome 16 having to do with the MC1R protein.

So the shade of red hair you have it also related to the mutation. You may have two recessive copies for red hair, but not necessarily that both have the MC1R mutation. If you have two mutated copies you end up with a true redhead, one mutated copy maybe either light strawberry blonde or brownish red.

It's completely fascinating and I wish I understood more about genetics.
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Old 08-22-2010, 11:16 PM
 
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Oh, don't get me wrong. I loved those little charts in eigth grade. It's just that I was taught that they were FACT. When I was an undergrad I read a William Carlos Williams book where the daughter has two blue eyed parents and is herself brown eyed. I held out that this is impossible because, by God, I had been taught that by Mr. S!
I seriously thought it was fact until I went to the genetic counselor with this baby.
And this is why my graduate degree is in literature.
Funny, sort of story about that kind of thing: my g-ma was a biology teacher and when she was teaching in the early 70s, those were taught as fact. (She still believes this, despite having hazel eyes herself ) One of her students asked her how it was possible that he had brown eyes with 2 blue-eyed parents and g-ma told him he was adopted or his mom was a cheater!! She also told my mom through her whole pregnancy that if my brother came out with anything but blue eyes they'd know he wasn't their grandkid ....yeah, my family is full of wackadoos.

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Anyway, nothing to do with eye color, but when they were doing the genome project they mapped the genes for red hair because there was this thought that genes that were involved with pigmentation were also involved in red hair and it could provide some answers regarding skin cancer and risk. Red Hair is caused by a mutation on Chromosome 16 having to do with the MC1R protein.

So the shade of red hair you have it also related to the mutation. You may have two recessive copies for red hair, but not necessarily that both have the MC1R mutation. If you have two mutated copies you end up with a true redhead, one mutated copy maybe either light strawberry blonde or brownish red.

It's completely fascinating and I wish I understood more about genetics.
That is really fascinating. Makes me want to learn more-especially as DS's hair is getting more and more strawberry colored.

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Old 08-22-2010, 11:41 PM
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Speaking of hair, I asked my high school biology teacher to explain why some people have white-blonde hair as babies but dark hair later. He had no answer for me. Being Asian and living in a community of mostly Asians and Pacific Islanders, it had probably never occurred to him that it happens.
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:10 AM
 
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Red-hair genetics are fascinating! Both of my grandmothers are redheads, so each of my parents carry it. Out of 5, 4 of us are redheads. (We joke to our other sister that the mailman must have been an awful nice guy.)

There have been some studies about redheads and opiate pain meds, anesthetic, and pain thresholds- really cool stuff.

Back to your regularly scheduled topic!

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Old 08-23-2010, 05:35 AM
 
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My son's eyes didn't settle down until he was 5, actually.


DH is Korean, Portuguese, and Welsh. His dad had black hair, his mom actually has brown hair (she's full Korean, and had been DYING it all these years, we only found out LAST year when she decided to go grey/white that she actually had brown hair), he has black hair (with a shock of white in the front that literally showed up overnight when he was 17...with black hair, white is obvious, it did not creep in, it was black at bedtime and WHITE in the morning). They all have/had brown eyes, DH's eyes are so dark that only Asian optometrists with mainly Asian clientele have been able to easily find his pupils...the eye docs with the mainly Caucasian practices just don't have the practice with nearly black eyes it seems.

I have dark blue eyes when my dad has ice blue and my mom had...sadly I'm not entirely sure. I think she had blue eyes, isn't that a HORRIBLE thing to forget about your own mother (crying to think of it)? But I think they were blue, a darker than my dad's. But in my dad's siblings, they either have brown or ICE blue eyes, no in betweens with the sibs! My brother got the ice blue. I've been told mine go grey/silver when I'm in certain moods, but usually they are dark blue. My hair is, meh, who knows? I call myself calico. Blond, brown, the occasional black hair, and a touch of red (especially when I'm in sea air). I have black eyebrows (and elsewhere eh hem) which got me accused of dying my eyebrows ('cuz that makes sense) when I was a preteen living in CA and having BLOND hair...the people who said this had known me since I was 6, so that was confusing. Grandfather had auburn hair, it turns out, but I didn't know this until family felt they had to tell me!

Which happened when...DH and I had Ronald McDonald. Bright ORANGE curly hair. With blue eyes. My dad tells me he said "uh oh" when he saw the baby pictures. Nice, dad. Honeymoon baby...dang, dad...


Slowly the blue turned to green...slowly that turned to hazel...slowly that turned to "hmm, his eyes match his hair, but his hair is red, so that doesn't work". I call them amber. Recently I've been more able to call them brown, but they do have a touch of, hmm, orange in them.

And his hair is different colors, too. The front is lighter (which is why I mentioned DH's shock of white hair...it's the exact same spot that went white on DH!) and is a brash copper color that glints in the sun like nothing I've ever seen. Like a copper roof or something. Then it's just red, but at his temples it can go almost blonde or strawberry. In the back, if that's all a person sees, they might think 'brown' if he's inside, but outdoors with sunshine it's a deep red.


Oh, and it doesn't stop there. He's naturally pale. But then he tans. Despite ample amounts of sunscreen (I burn like heck through ample amounts of sunscreen). He goes this lovely light golden color... DH will darken a couple shades inside of a week with walking to and from transit when it's sunny.


We get stopped a lot! Have been stopped like that since he was tiny. Not so pretty when he's along with DH. As a brand new father, DH had a lovely person say "it looks as though you STOLE that child", as DH held my purse, babysling, diaper bag, and baby, *outside the women's changing room* at JCPenney. And he heard someone on the balcony calling the police to report a man who didn't "match" any of the kids, as he played with DS in our apartment complex play area...he came back home quickly. The hardest part about that one is that our city was a very ethnically mixed, Korean, area, and there are LOTS of half and quarter Koreans in town, many many many of whom have reddish hair... Just not the place you'd think that parents needed to "match" their children, ya know?

Anyway, we have the genetics talk with strangers quite often!
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Old 08-23-2010, 07:41 AM
 
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Speaking of hair, I asked my high school biology teacher to explain why some people have white-blonde hair as babies but dark hair later. He had no answer for me. Being Asian and living in a community of mostly Asians and Pacific Islanders, it had probably never occurred to him that it happens.
Interesting phenomenon, my brother had this. Toehead white-blonde hair the first year of his life, although dark brown eyes almost from day 1...his hair gradually got darker and by age 10 or so was very dark brown.

And my half-brother has strawberry blonde/orange hair although both parents have dark brown. He has a great-grandpa with red hair, though, so these things do just crop back up down the family line I guess.

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Old 08-23-2010, 12:05 PM
 
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Eye color can *appear* to change due to clothing or emotion, though. With clothing, certain colors will enhance or "bring out" surrounding colors, including eyes. The same goes for skin tone, hair color, etc. As for emotion, the pupil can contract or expand due to emotion, causing the color of the iris to look a little different, and the eye itself can expand and contract due to emotion, again changing how the iris is seen by others.

It's semantics, really. The iris isn't actually changing, but it looks like it is.
I understand all of that. It's just that when someone describes their own or their child's eyes specifically (specifically as in, "it happens to ME" vs. "it happens to everyone") as shifting, they aren't clearly describing a phenomenon that happens to everyone, as you're describing. EVERYONE's eyes will look different based on pupil size, skin tone (tanned/pale), make up, clothing, etc. That's not specific to any certain eye color or any particular person. It's just something that happens to all of us - well, actually to the people looking at us, since it's based on their perception of our eye color. Assigning this only to certain people is what confused me about her post, not her wording.

And you may be surprised how many people actually believe their eye color changes from day to day. For them, it is not an issue of semantics.
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:13 PM
 
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Speaking of hair, I asked my high school biology teacher to explain why some people have white-blonde hair as babies but dark hair later. He had no answer for me. Being Asian and living in a community of mostly Asians and Pacific Islanders, it had probably never occurred to him that it happens.
I think the "how" of that one's actually pretty well understood. It's just an issue of turning on the genes responsible for hair color as a kid ages. I don't know that they know why they're "off" and then "on", but that's how it happens.
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:35 PM
 
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To answer the OP's question - DS1's eyes were definitely blue at about 20 months, when we got him a passport - and by about 30 months, they were definitely hazel (blue/green/brown) like mine. I think they are now a bit greener than mine, but still hazel (i.e. rings of different colors). DS2 is blue eyed (he's 4 now, and I'd be surprised if they changed further). DD is only 13 months, so I'm waiting to see what happens.

My mom still thinks my youngest brother has blue eyes, although they are clearly hazel - just with less variation than mine - to me.

DS1 & DH have hair that is blond at the hairline around the face, and light brown on the rest of their heads. I am a true brunette (I point to my silver hairs starting to come in and say "this is as blond as I get!") DS2 is blond blond right now, but I can imagine that it might change, especially as he was born with brown hair. DD has kind of honey colored hair but I think that may change, too. I think it would be fun to have at least one kid with my coloring, but that may or may not happen. I am glad that DS1 & DD got my skin tone or something like it, which allows them to tan rather than burn under most conditions (i.e., unless we are out in the direct sun for 6 hours or more). DS2 unluckily got DH's burn-like-a-lobster shade.

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Old 08-23-2010, 01:31 PM
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I think the "how" of that one's actually pretty well understood. It's just an issue of turning on the genes responsible for hair color as a kid ages. I don't know that they know why they're "off" and then "on", but that's how it happens.
Oh, yeah....I know that now.

High school biology was in 1986, for me. He was an older teacher....probably either forgot it if he ever learned it, or didn't keep up with his continuing education.

My husband was a blond baby...not white-blond, but Cindy-Brady-blond. His hair was blond through most of his childhood. It started changing in his early teens, and now is very dark brown, almost black.

Back to eyes....my mother has been scanning every single photo she owns and posting on Facebook, and I came across a pic of DS2 when he was 2.5 that's close-up. His eyes were not yet green but not a true blue, either. Sort of a murky teal. So I guess his eyes were probably green in his third year.
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Old 08-23-2010, 01:34 PM
 
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I understand all of that. It's just that when someone describes their own or their child's eyes specifically (specifically as in, "it happens to ME" vs. "it happens to everyone") as shifting, they aren't clearly describing a phenomenon that happens to everyone, as you're describing. EVERYONE's eyes will look different based on pupil size, skin tone (tanned/pale), make up, clothing, etc. That's not specific to any certain eye color or any particular person. It's just something that happens to all of us - well, actually to the people looking at us, since it's based on their perception of our eye color. Assigning this only to certain people is what confused me about her post, not her wording.

And you may be surprised how many people actually believe their eye color changes from day to day. For them, it is not an issue of semantics.
I assigned it to specific people (myself and my daughter) because I see it every day? I'm confused by your statement. My husband's blue eyes don't look green when he wears a particular shirt, or grey when he wears another, yet my green eyes and my daughter's blue green eyes do. It's an observably phenomenon for us. I don't see what the big deal about it is!

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Old 08-23-2010, 01:42 PM
 
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This is all so odd... I have brown eyes, but one day at a make-up store, the girl dolling me up told me purple would go best with my green eyes. I thought she was a little colour blind, but it turns out, in the bright light, my eyes were very green. I rarely get to see it--mostly other people let me know. So I always assumed it was bright light that changed my eye colour, because it makes a pretty significant difference.

That said, DD's eyes look greenish and her hair looks reddish. Don't know how that one will turn out!

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Old 08-23-2010, 01:46 PM
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This is all so odd... I have brown eyes, but one day at a make-up store, the girl dolling me up told me purple would go best with my green eyes. I thought she was a little colour blind, but it turns out, in the bright light, my eyes were very green. I rarely get to see it--mostly other people let me know. So I always assumed it was bright light that changed my eye colour, because it makes a pretty significant difference.
Could be the fluorescent lighting. When I was a kid (and blonde), fluorescent lights would always give my hair a greenish cast, like I'd spent too much time in the pool.
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Old 08-23-2010, 01:49 PM
 
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Could be the fluorescent lighting. When I was a kid (and blonde), fluorescent lights would always give my hair a greenish cast, like I'd spent too much time in the pool.
Nah--even in bright sunlight. Usually only when I'm outside (which is why I never really get to see it). A friend once rushed to get me a mirror once so I could finally see what everyone else was talking about.

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Old 08-23-2010, 01:52 PM
 
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My DD had electric blue eyes when she was born. Her eyes stayed blue, but now are more of grey-green blue. She got a recessive gene, DH and I both are more brown-hazel. DS had black eyes, you literally could not see his pupils at times, about 6 months or so they turned chocolate brown, they are still super dark.

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Old 08-23-2010, 02:30 PM
 
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I assigned it to specific people (myself and my daughter) because I see it every day? I'm confused by your statement. My husband's blue eyes don't look green when he wears a particular shirt, or grey when he wears another, yet my green eyes and my daughter's blue green eyes do. It's an observably phenomenon for us. I don't see what the big deal about it is!
I think it's because your DH has blue eyes, whereas you and Cecilia have hazel/green eyes. My blue eyes looks pretty much the same no matter what, though some shirts "bring them out" a bit more, but DH's green-hazel eyes appear to change like mad. I think it's due to the wide spectrum of color that's always present in green/ hazel eyes, giving more colors a chance to pop.

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Old 08-23-2010, 02:44 PM
 
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I guess that's probably true, although he does have some green in his eyes. It just never seems to be brought out by wearing particular colors like it does for me. He looks good in some colors, but that's more because of his skin tone, not because it has an effect on his eyes.

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Old 08-23-2010, 02:51 PM
 
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Oh, yeah....I know that now.

High school biology was in 1986, for me. He was an older teacher....probably either forgot it if he ever learned it, or didn't keep up with his continuing education.

My husband was a blond baby...not white-blond, but Cindy-Brady-blond. His hair was blond through most of his childhood. It started changing in his early teens, and now is very dark brown, almost black.
I did the opposite. My hair was jet black at birth, and as it grew out it was white blonde. It looked like someone dipped the ends in ink. My mom says people always asked her if she tried to dye it black . It finally settled on brown around puberty, but DS's hair is doing something similar. His was dark (not black) at birth, and new hair growth is strawberry blonde or very light brown with red.

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Old 08-23-2010, 03:06 PM
 
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Ambystoma, my hair did some similar stuff, because it never fell out as a baby. It was dark brown and wavy at birth, and just grew blonder and curlier as it grew longer. My Cecilia's hair is doing the same thing so far!

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Old 08-23-2010, 11:24 PM
 
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I assigned it to specific people (myself and my daughter) because I see it every day? I'm confused by your statement. My husband's blue eyes don't look green when he wears a particular shirt, or grey when he wears another, yet my green eyes and my daughter's blue green eyes do. It's an observably phenomenon for us. I don't see what the big deal about it is!
There IS no big deal. When you said it was specific to you and your daughter, I assumed you believed it was something that happened to your eyes, rather than to the way other people perceived them. I thought I was clear about that. Every color will look slightly different depending on its surrounding colors. Have you ever brought home a paint sample that looked fabulous in the store, but awful in your house? Eyes aren't any different. You might not notice it about your husband's eyes, but it happens to everyone. It's just the way we perceive colors. *I* don't see the big deal.

Editing: Yes, what ErinYay said. That's exactly what I was thinking.
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:26 PM
 
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I did the opposite. My hair was jet black at birth, and as it grew out it was white blonde.
This happened to both of my babies. Now as DD1 is getting older, her white blonde hair is getting darker. She'll be a brunette in her teens, I think.
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:42 PM
 
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My dd had blue eyes (first the newborn slate color, then more true blue like mine) right up until 24 months. Then, over a period of about 3 weeks, they turned to bright green like dh.
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Old 08-25-2010, 09:46 AM
 
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If you and your DH have blue eyes, then your DS will have blue (though the exact color of blue can differ) based on your genotypes.

Here is a cool genetic allele calculator that will show the probability of your kids' eye colors.
I (also a Biology Grad student) was going to say the same thing... until I googled it to confirm and found that eye colour is not simply a recessive trait... there are multiple genes involved apparently.

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Old 08-25-2010, 10:10 AM
 
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DS1's eyes turned brown within a couple months (I forget when exactly now), DS2 on the other hand is now just over a year and has blue eyes with brown stripes... almost looks like a brown sun in his eyes if you get up really clse - they're *VERY* cool!! I'd love it if they stayed that way forever, but I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if they went all brown or even all blue sometime in the future. But for now, they arej ust very cool!!
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:07 PM
 
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I think eye color and hair color genetics are fascinating. I have light brown orangish eyes and my dh has green eyes. My dd ended up with dark brown eyes which is kind of strange. It took her eyes a while to settle on the final color. They were hazel for a while and got darker brown once they hit brown. My ds eyes are green but it took a while before I knew if they were going to be green or blue. His shade is different than my dh's and I wonder what it will settle on. I think he will keep his green eyes.

My dh and both my kids have red hair. My dd and dh had similar colors when they were kids. It is defiantely red and not auburn but it isn't super bright and fiery either. My dh's hair got a little darker as an adult but it is still red. My ds has lighter red hair. It is definately red but not quite as red as my dd's. He was born with blonde hair then lost most of it. It took a while to grow in and know what color it would be. My dd had auburn hair when she was born but it got redder as she got older and around 4-6 months I knew it was red. I wonder if they will keep their color. I don't have any actual redheads in my family but I have pale skin freckles and red highlights so I probably do have one copy of the gene.

My dd has red hair and brown eyes which supposidly isn't very common but I do know a few people who have that. My eyes took a long time to settle on brown. Using basic genetics my kids have a 50% chance of green eyes and a 50% chance of brown and a 50% chance of red hair and a 50% chance of brown. It crazy how much variation there could be though.

Dianna environmentally educated tree hugging mom of dd 9/06 and ds 10/08 newbie dd 9/10
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by HonkyTonka View Post
I (also a Biology Grad student) was going to say the same thing... until I googled it to confirm and found that eye colour is not simply a recessive trait... there are multiple genes involved apparently.
Yep. See my second post.

Kara: on a journey with DH, Mama to DS 2/2010
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