OCA2

“Seeing Through Color To Colorlessness”

The eye is the key which opens the door to vision, beyond which lies the realm of color. Every eyes sees the same and yet these comment differently. Never does one say, draw, tell what one sees, only, one can interpret what one sees. Eyes, therefore, are a unique tool to articulate ideas differently from what others see.  

 

Eyes are the same for everyone, but there is a difference which the attentive may distinguish, which is their colors. To determine how eye colors occur is still mysterious for science, but this is what we know so far. Melanin, a term for a group of natural pigments found in most organisms, is produced by a group of cells known as melanocytes and, most importantly, gives people eye colors . This pigment is found mostly in the eyes and the skin, occurring after exposure to UV radiation. Also, this pigment provides protection for UV radiation. Eye color results from the amount of the pigment melanin found in the eye, specifically, in the stroma of the iris. Reducing this pigment in the human body causes the alteration of eye color. If it is normal or more, the eye color is brown or black, and if it abates, the eye color is green. Should the pigment be completely palliated or not exist, the eye color is blue.

 

The concept for the project emerges at this point. Eyes which are not brown or dark do not have color pigments, that is, they are colorless.  Eye color can be seen simply as a Mendelian trait, yet eye color does not follow the classical paths of inheritance. There are almost 16 different genes responsible for eye color, but two in particular are largely responsible for this, HERC2 and OCA2.

Single-nucleotide polymorphisms in either of these two genes play a large role in the eye color of an individual. There is also a possibility of mutation.

This project’s participants’ eyes, of course, are colorful. But take a look. Guess which one has which color pigment from seeing through color to colorlessness.