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Researchers identify 50 new eye colour genes

A study involving 195,000 people across Europe and Asia has found that the genetics of eye colour is more complex than previously thought

woman with green eye
Pixabay/Anastasia Gepp
Genetic analysis of close to 195,000 people from across Europe and Asia has identified 50 new genes that play a role in determining eye colour.

The research, which was published in Science Advances, highlights that the genetic complexity of human eye colour “considerably exceeds” previous knowledge and expectations.

Dr Pirro Hysi, of Kings College London, shared that the findings are exciting because they represent progress in understanding the genes that cause one of “the most striking features” on human faces.

“This will improve our understanding of many diseases that we know are associated with specific pigmentation levels,” he said.

Dr Manfred Kayser, of Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam, highlighted that the study delivers the genetic knowledge needed to improve eye colour prediction from DNA.