Calculate the eye color of your child-to-be

24 Sep

Genetics is a field that tends to give you guesses rather than answers.

This online eye color calculator won’t tell the future, but it will show you more or less your odds of having a brown, green, or blue-eyed baby.

And that could be fun, whether you’re prognosticating about a baby in utero or fantasizing about babies you could have with whatever sexypants you have in mind.

Several genes contribute to eye color, and the factors that decide the trait are so complex that almost any parent / child combination of eye colors is possible.

Using this calculator, which uses a two-gene model, I learn that my partner and I would have a 1 in 4 chance of producing a green-peepered creature.  I also see some of the genetic factors at play.

For example, I learn that while I have brown eyes like my dad, I still possess genes for the green and blue eyes that my mom and her ancestors have had.

My eye color is my phenotype (i.e., brown eyes.)

My grandparents’ eye colors determine my genotype, or the combination of genes I carry.  My genotype BBGb, for example, describes me as a brown-eyed person (B) who is a genetic carrier of green (G) and blue (b) eye color traits.  When it comes to the expression of the trait, green trumps blue, and brown typically trumps all. (B for brown is written in upper case because it is “dominant” while b for blue is in lower case because it is “recessive.”)

The online calculator accounts for two of the known eye color genes: EYCL1, which is located on chromosome 19, and EYCL3, which is located on chromosome 15.  Using the Hardy-Weinberg principle, this tool computes your probability of having a brown, green, or blue-eyed baby.

The calculator was created by the San Jose, California-based Tech Museum of Innovation.

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