Black Couple's Blonde Blue-Eyed Baby Baffles Scientists

by Tanya Thomas on  July 21, 2010 at 10:41 AM Genetics & Stem Cells News   - G J E 4
A white, blue-eyed blonde baby should not really create much of a stir, globally. Not unless they're born to a black couple from Nigeria, something that has baffled genetics experts.
 Black Couple's Blonde Blue-Eyed Baby Baffles Scientists
Black Couple's Blonde Blue-Eyed Baby Baffles Scientists

Doctors at Queen Mary's Hospital in Sidcup told the parents that Nmachi Ihegboro is definitely no albino.

However, the child has baffled the genetics experts because neither Ben nor wife Angela has any mixed-race family history.

Professor Bryan Sykes, head of Human Genetics at Oxford University and Britain's leading expert, called the birth 'extraordinary'.

"In mixed race humans, the lighter variant of skin tone may come out in a child - and this can sometimes be startlingly different to the skin of the parents," the Sun quoted Sykes as saying.

"This might be the case where there is a lot of genetic mixing, as in Afro-Caribbean populations. But in Nigeria there is little mixing," Sykes added.

Sykes said both parents would have needed "some form of white ancestry" for a pale version of their genes to be passed on.

But he added: "The hair is extremely unusual. Even many blonde children don't have blonde hair like this at birth."

The expert said some unknown mutation was the most likely explanation.

"The rules of genetics are complex and we still don't understand what happens in many cases," he added.

Source: ANI

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