Jump to content

Menu

Genetics question -- Can one parent have stronger genes?


Rebecca VA
 Share

Recommended Posts

This question has been in the back of my mind for a couple of weeks, ever since I read a story about a Hollywood couple whose children look more like the mom than the dad. (It was Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck, if you're curious.) Actually, I don't think they do, but judging from the reader comments, other people think that. There were a number of comments posted that marvelled at her "strong genes," presumably meaning that the husband's genes are weaker and that's why the children don't look like him.

 

Now that I think of it, my husband once made a comment about how a certain ethnic group's genes are very strong and offspring of that group always have that ethnicity's "look." He meant that Caucasian genes are weaker.

 

Is this scientifically true?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe that's referring to dominant and recessive.

 

Dominant and recessive traits

 

 

Yes, each individual trait has dominant and recessive genes associated with it. It is far more complicated than just "ethnicity," even though it may appear that way on the surface. I still have trouble believing that no more children with red hair will be born within a couple of generations because of the mixing pot world we are living in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Certainly. My husband's genes are so strong that they infected our adopted Chinese daughter. She is just like him in many, many ways. Of course she's beautiful and Chinese and has a cute little nose, and he, well, does not, but deep down, where it matters--peas in a pod. Jennifer Garner's got nothing on him.

 

Terri

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think there's a lot of genetics that's untried territory right now. Theoretically as science currently knows it, one parent genes wouldn't be stronger than the other. In practice... there simply seems to be too much evidence to the contrary. So scientifically speaking, no, one parent cannot have stronger genes; however, those same scientists would probably be the first ones to say that we certainly don't have the full story on genetics just yet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe that's referring to dominant and recessive.

 

Dominant and recessive traits

 

I do not understand this chart. Maybe it's just too early in the morning. But hopefully someone can explain this to me. I thought blue eyes were recessive but 6 of our 6 children have blue eyes, and only I have blue eyes. Dh has hazel eyes. My dad has BROWN eyes, my mom has blue. Dh's dad has hazel and his mom has blue. We have been rather surprised that every, single one of our children has my blue eyes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

still have trouble believing that no more children with red hair will be born within a couple of generations because of the mixing pot world we are living in.

 

That is a myth. Google it and you will find a whole scientific discussion why that won't happen

 

That's what I thought, I just didn't bother to do the research. :rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I do not understand this chart. Maybe it's just too early in the morning. But hopefully someone can explain this to me. I thought blue eyes were recessive but 6 of our 6 children have blue eyes, and only I have blue eyes. Dh has hazel eyes. My dad has BROWN eyes, my mom has blue. Dh's dad has hazel and his mom has blue. We have been rather surprised that every, single one of our children has my blue eyes.

 

Yup - same here sort of. All our children have blue eyes. Mine are blue (My parents are both blue) & DH's are brown (his parents are either both brown or one brown/one blue). MIL has commented (with some suspicion in her voice) how 'mysterious' it is that all 4 kiddos have blue eyes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your dh has recessive for blue. He has genes for brown and blue, but the brown is dominant so blue is not expressed. Statistically, I think, you'd have 2 brown and 2 blue for every four kids.

 

 

That's what I thought...so why do 6/6 of our children have blue eyes???

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do not understand this chart. Maybe it's just too early in the morning. But hopefully someone can explain this to me. I thought blue eyes were recessive but 6 of our 6 children have blue eyes, and only I have blue eyes. Dh has hazel eyes. My dad has BROWN eyes, my mom has blue. Dh's dad has hazel and his mom has blue. We have been rather surprised that every, single one of our children has my blue eyes.

 

 

If dad has brown eyes, he may have 2 brown eye genes or 1 brown & 1 blue. Blue eyed mom has 2 blue eye genes. Then if baby has blue eyes, baby got dad's blue gene (his brown eye gene is now out of the picture) and 1 of mom's blue genes. When baby has a child, mom can only pass down a blue gene.

 

Genetics of eye color

 

Statistics come into play here, but it's been too long ago since I studied stats to be able to explain it.

 

Like Diane said above, it's not simple.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

That's what I thought...so why do 6/6 of our children have blue eyes???

 

 

You just got lucky! Each child got a blue eye gene from you and DH.

 

Our family has a genetic heart condition that is passed through a dominant gene. My parents have 5 out of 5 kids with the gene. One uncle has no kids that got the gene, some families are mixed. Neither of my 2 kids have it. Genetics are are pretty crazy!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Probabiltiy, which this is, only works with very large numbers. So if you flip coins, a thousand sequences of ten each, you may, in fact, get one sequence of all tails and that would not mean that your coins were rigged. It is also why some polls come out so wrong. If you randomly choose people (and polls don't usually do that but that is another story), you will occasionally randomly pick a group of outliers- like a group that is all conservative or all liberal. NOthing unusual about a recessive gene showing up in all six kids. You could do the math -= it is a probabilty problem. Each time is independent of the others and each time it is a 50% chance of blue. What is the probability of blue in six times in a row? I believe it would be one in a hundred families with your scenario. BUt the problem is that blue/not blue is not a two gene issue, l believe. I think there are actually three genes involved and so I am not going to waste time figuring it out but while rare, it isn't anything suspicious.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

That's what I thought...so why do 6/6 of our children have blue eyes???

 

 

Because each child has a 1 in 2 chance of having blue eyes. It doesn't matter that the child before them has blue eyes or not. It is just one of those weird things that happened. If you had a 100 kids your ratio would likely change closer to half with brown eyes and half with blue eyes, but your sample size of only 6 is too small to show the true ratios. It is the same reason that someone can have 8 kids who are all boys, where the actual chance of having a boy or a girl is about 1 in 2. Each child being born is not changed by the one before them, so even though child A has blue eyes, child's B chance of having blue eyes is still 1 in 2. Just like you can flip a coin 6 times and get all heads, even though there is just as likely of a chance you would get tails.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's what I thought...so why do 6/6 of our children have blue eyes???

 

Because genetics is screwed up... I mean it isn't as exact of a science as they think it is.

 

Dh, his brothers, and father are all blue-eyed. His mom has brown eyes.

I have hazel eyes, my dad had green eyes, my mom had brown eyes, ....

all of our kids have blue eyes. Does that make you feel better?

 

 

eta: Oh, and one of the families I babysat for in HS. She was blond hair, blue eyes, He was Mexican, and had black hair and brown eyes. 2 of their boys were blond/blue, and one was light brown hair w/ brown eyes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I do not understand this chart. Maybe it's just too early in the morning. But hopefully someone can explain this to me. I thought blue eyes were recessive but 6 of our 6 children have blue eyes, and only I have blue eyes. Dh has hazel eyes. My dad has BROWN eyes, my mom has blue. Dh's dad has hazel and his mom has blue. We have been rather surprised that every, single one of our children has my blue eyes.

 

Hazel eyes count as blue. Since your dh's eyes are hazel, not brown, it makes perfect sense that all of your dc would have blue eyes. If any are very young, it's possible they may still change to hazel. My hazel eyes were blue until I was about 4, as were the hazel eyes of one of my dc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think some genetic lines are probably made up primarily of dominant genes (for example, looking back a few generations it's not likely I have any blue-eyed genes). When you have one parent with mainly dominant genes and one with mainly recessive genes, you end up with kids looking primarily like one parent. Myself, sister, our kids, father and all the cousins and uncles on one side look eerily similar. When my sister and I visited our families "hometown" in Scotland, which none of our immediate family has been to since 1917, we ran into distant cousins that also looked a lot like us (enough so that we were accosted several times by locals that thought we were someone else), so I think we have a lot of the more dominant genes in our pool. It will eventually get diluted, but it will take several generations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have 1 blue eyed girl and 4 hazel eyed kids. I really hoped for more variety. :coolgleamA: Two have green hazel (brown and green dominant) and one has blue hazel. The jury is still out on LO whether she will be a muddy green or green hazel. I have blue green eyes (both in layers!) and dh has brown eyes. My little brother has almost jet black eyes. I kinda hoped one of my kids would inherit that. ;)

 

Same with hair-3 have mousy or darker brown hair. But my oldest and youngest are strawberry blonde. Hilarious considering dh doesn't have a spot of red in his family that we know of. I guess my genes won. lol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What?? Sorrry-- dealing with smaller numbers(of kids) in this case does not mean genetics is not exact a science as "they think it is." Really, your statement alone shows you don't understand the concept very clearly.

 

I understand it just fine, tyvm. I was joking. Geez

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Hazel eyes count as blue. Since your dh's eyes are hazel, not brown, it makes perfect sense that all of your dc would have blue eyes. If any are very young, it's possible they may still change to hazel. My hazel eyes were blue until I was about 4, as were the hazel eyes of one of my dc.

 

Hazel can count as blue, but they don't always. Brown eyes can sometimes count as blue too. Sometimes brown eyes only look brown, but are more like dark hazel from a genetics perspective. It's the same reason blue eyed people sometimes have a brown-eyed child, they just look brown, but are not brown genetically. I remember reading a long, long article about it in college. I'm probably not expressing it well. But, in short-eyes are not always genetically the color we "see" them as. Does that make sense?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Half of my kids have an eye color that neither my dh nor I have. People ask me all the time where their ____ eyes came from and I'm really not sure. All my sibs, my parents and their sibs, and my grandparents ( on both sides) have eyes that are not the color of my kids'. I find the whole thing really strange.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Hazel can count as blue, but they don't always. Brown eyes can sometimes count as blue too. Sometimes brown eyes only look brown, but are more like dark hazel from a genetics perspective. It's the same reason blue eyed people sometimes have a brown-eyed child, they just look brown, but are not brown genetically. I remember reading a long, long article about it in college. I'm probably not expressing it well. But, in short-eyes are not always genetically the color we "see" them as. Does that make sense?

 

 

No, but I'll trust you anyway!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hazel eyes might count as blue? I never knew that! I had blue eyes until I was a toddler. They are now hazel leaning toward brown. I have a blue eyed mother.

 

My husband has brown eyes. His siblings and parents have brown eyes. We got a blue eyed child! I assumed my son must have been pretty rare to come from a line with brown eyed parents and 3 of 4 brown eyed grandparents yet end up with blue eyes. But if my hazels count as blue that might be much more likely. Interesting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just be happy you're not color blind. My dh supposedly doesn't differentiate between green and red very well. Most of what is green, from what I understood, is supposed to look red, but when I ask him what color the grass and trees look to him he says green. Imagine: he's in an industry that needs to be able to determine good color.

Sometimes he swears a color is red or pink and it is actually a bluer green.

He got the gene from his mother, who is NOT color blind. Our daughters' will pass it on to their sons, if they have sons. Will the gene not pass on anywhere if they have no sons? All of his brothers are color blind too. His sisters are not.

Not hijacking a thread, really. Just genetics and eyes, but this really has to do with genetics.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The yellow/green eye gene in genetics makes it a bit more confusing than those simple charts of blue/brown, too.

 

I have one child with eyes that may stay hazel, while dh has green eyes and mine are very dark brown. I couldn't figure out where the hazel was coming from but apparently the green eye gene can mix things up quite a bit!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I heard a speaker once, many years ago, talk about how dominant and recessive genes and how they are expressed are not nearly as simple as they teach in high school science. There is a lot going on with epigenetics that they still don't know much about (or didn't 10yrs ago.). It was so long ago that I'm afraid that I'll get it wrong here, but I think he said sometimes instead of a brown eyed gene and a blue eyed gene resulting in a brown eyed child, you would get a child who has neither brown nor blue eyes but something kind of mixed. Or something like that....A friend of mine who was considering IVF with donor eggs was also telling me that she preferred using donor eggs herself instead of surrogacy or adoption because somehow with epigenetics she could pass on some part of herself to the child in the womb. I have no idea if she was speaking real truth there or just wishful thinking.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just be happy you're not color blind. My dh supposedly doesn't differentiate between green and red very well. Most of what is green, from what I understood, is supposed to look red, but when I ask him what color the grass and trees look to him he says green. Imagine: he's in an industry that needs to be able to determine good color.

Sometimes he swears a color is red or pink and it is actually a bluer green.

He got the gene from his mother, who is NOT color blind. Our daughters' will pass it on to their sons, if they have sons. Will the gene not pass on anywhere if they have no sons? All of his brothers are color blind too. His sisters are not.

Not hijacking a thread, really. Just genetics and eyes, but this really has to do with genetics.

 

Color blindness (I don't know if all or just most cases) is X-linked recessive. Females have two copies X chromosomes, one from the mother and one from the father. In order for the female to be affected, she would need to receive two X chromosomes with the color blindness gene. However, females can be carries for the gene without being affected if they received one X chromosome with the gene and the other without it. Since males only have one X chromosome, they only need to receive the X chromosome from their mother with that gene on it.

 

Your daugthers can pass it on to their daugthers, and since your DH is colorblind, his X chromosome carries the color blindness gene, which is the X chromosome that was also passed onto all of your daughters.

 

Here is a good article for you: http://genetics.thetech.org/ask/ask80

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your dh has recessive for blue. He has genes for brown and blue, but the brown is dominant so blue is not expressed. Statistically, I think, you'd have 2 brown and 2 blue for every four kids.

 

That's how it worked here. First 2 have brown eyes and last 2 have blue eyes. Dh has brown and I have hazel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

well I always thought red hair was a recessive gene. I have blonde hair and no one in my family has red hair. My DH has red hair his father had red as well. All four of my kids got red hair :confused1: If my blonde gene is dominant over his red how did all my kids get red hair?

I read somewhere that there is one gene that controls lightness/darkness of hair, and a separate gene that controls redness. Who knows what the latest research is know though.

 

I have strawberry-blonde hair, the only one in my family except for a cousin. His hair is fairly red. DS started out with my hair but it has darkened, so now a darker blonde with a hint of red. DD has my hair still.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

well I always thought red hair was a recessive gene. I have blonde hair and no one in my family has red hair. My DH has red hair his father had red as well. All four of my kids got red hair :confused1: If my blonde gene is dominant over his red how did all my kids get red hair?

 

 

You have a recessive gene for red hair.

 

You are far more likely to have a recessive trait pop-up to parents with dominant characteristics because that recessive trait is often hidden by the dominant.

 

It is much less likely to wind up with a dominant (brown hair or eyes) trait in a child with two parents that show recessive traits (blue eyes or blonde hair). It's only possible at all because, as mentioned above, these traits aren't straight either-or characteristics. There are more than just a couple of genes involved and it's not just a case of having one or the other. Sometimes the appearance of brown eyes, is caused by a more recessive gene.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

well I always thought red hair was a recessive gene. I have blonde hair and no one in my family has red hair. My DH has red hair his father had red as well. All four of my kids got red hair :confused1: If my blonde gene is dominant over his red how did all my kids get red hair?

 

 

 

See we are opposite. I come from about 7 generations of redheads. My DH has dark brown hair, but he has red in his beard and reddish highlights when we was younger. Neither of my children have red hair. One is dark brown and one was very blonde and is now a dark blonde/ light brown. Sometimes genetics aren't fair; I wanted a red headed child :crying:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do not understand this chart. Maybe it's just too early in the morning. But hopefully someone can explain this to me. I thought blue eyes were recessive but 6 of our 6 children have blue eyes, and only I have blue eyes. Dh has hazel eyes. My dad has BROWN eyes, my mom has blue. Dh's dad has hazel and his mom has blue. We have been rather surprised that every, single one of our children has my blue eyes.

 

 

Your DH must have a blue gene that is not expressed in his own eyes, but is waiting around to combine with your blue.

 

My family:

 

My mother, father, both brothers and I: all brown eyes

 

Husband and FIL blue eyes; MIL brown eyes.

 

Sons: one brown and one blue. Despite neither of my parents having brown eyes, there must be an unexpressed blue gene in there that was passed on throught me to at least one son. The blue-eyed son must have received blue-blue, the brown-eyed one must have received blue-brown.

 

At least, I think that's how it works.......

 

Laura

Link to comment
Share on other sites

well - I'm blonde. My sister is red, my brother is blonde with a red beard. dh is red. 1dd is red. that's it. 2ds was born auburn (you know the color of barbie's friend's hair that you think is so "fake" looking? that was it.) and was tow by three months (and it goes back to tow if he's in the sun). He has red highlights in his beard. everyone else is blonde, and darkened to medium to dark blonde.

 

dh and I both have straight hair, but three of them got my dad's curls. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No. Genes don't battle it out and the strongest

one wins. It's all a matter of what traits are dominant and recessive. Although it's not simple....but that's the most basic way to explain it. However one partner's genes are not "stronger" than the other partner's.

 

What she said.

 

My sons are spitting images of me and my family members. That pigtailed girl in my avatar is me at age 4. You now know what my sons look/Ed like at age four had I let their hair grow out and braided it. Especially my older son. You have to look very close to see my husband's physical traits in them. That said they are there- hairline, ears, blue eyes (instead of my green eyes) on one son, arch of the feet etc. and thankfully my older son seems to have my husband's teeth, his body type and metabolism which are so much better than mine.

 

This is not because anyone's genes are weak or strong. That is a very incorrect way of looking at it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Because genetics is screwed up... I mean it isn't as exact of a science as they think it is.

 

 

eta: Oh, and one of the families I babysat for in HS. She was blond hair, blue eyes, He was Mexican, and had black hair and brown eyes. 2 of their boys were blond/blue, and one was light brown hair w/ brown eyes.

 

My father is Mexican, very dark skin, my mother had blue eyes and very pale skin. My sister looks like my dad, dark skin/eyes and I look like my mom- blond/blue eyed. People always thought one of us was adopted.

 

my husband is also half Mexican, though his mother's side is more Spanish-lighter skin. His dad is German with blue eyes. 3 of my kids have brown eyes, one kid had blue until he was 3 (red hair) and now they are hazel. My sister- (looks Mexican) married a man with brown hair and hazel eyes- 2 of her kids have brown hair/brown eyes and one is blonde with blue eyes. Dominant/recessive genes are funny/interesting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What about when someone has eyes that change colors. Is that hazel of some sort? I have primarily green eyes, but sometimes they appear more blue-ish, and sometimes the green is mixed with a gray-ish color.

 

I second the question! I have hazel eyes that sometimes look green, or gray, or blue depending on light, what I'm wearing, or mood. My mother claims her eyes change, too.

 

Almost all of my father's side of the family has brown eyes; most cousins and their children have brown eyes, too. Out of my father's 12 children (same mother with blue eyes) 10 have brown eyes, one has green, I have hazel. I married a blue-eyed man who has no close relatives with blue eyes. We have together a blue-eyed boy and a chocolate-brown eyed boy (he was born hazel looking, but it turned brown around when he turned 1 or 2, I think.) I'm pregnant with #3 and I would LOVE it if all my kids ended up with different colored eyes. Maybe a green or gray or hazel?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My husband and I are actually pretty genetically similar. Despite the mix with Native American on my part, and the mix of Roma on his part, I'm thinking that we probably share a Celtic-Austrian ancestor somewhere. Needless to say, our kid looks exactly like...both of us.

 

But when he was born we lived on-campus at a graduate school which had a lot of Middle Eastern students. DH and I both have medium-brown hair, and son was, unsurprisingly, born absolutely blonde. This shocked and amazed the foreign students. "He's so blonde! How'd he get so blonde?" I told them that DH was blonde as a kid (though I was tempted to tell them that the postman was blonde and wink) and this absolutely blew their mind. Certain traits are rather ethnically-centric.

 

The most interesting ethnic cross I've seen is Irish/Asian. I've seen this a few times over the years, and every time the results are astounding. The girls are born with hair that would make any Hollywood A-lister absolutely green with envy.

 

Question to the geneticists: can hormones change eye color (like the way hormones can change hair)? When I hit puberty my hair went brown and my blue eyes went hazel like my mom's. By the time I went to college, my eyes were back to the pale blue like my dad, who's eyes are blue enough to make a certain European evil man very, very proud. It was weird. And the DMV isn't very cool with changing your eye color on your drivers license. Weight, yes. But other things, not so much, lol.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I do not understand this chart. Maybe it's just too early in the morning. But hopefully someone can explain this to me. I thought blue eyes were recessive but 6 of our 6 children have blue eyes, and only I have blue eyes. DH has hazel eyes. My dad has BROWN eyes, my mom has blue. Dh's dad has hazel and his mom has blue. We have been rather surprised that every, single one of our children has my blue eyes.

 

My mother has dark brown eyes, my father had washed out blue eyes, my grandmother had green eyes. My mother had 8 children, I have green, 1 brother has hazel, 1 sister has light blue all the rest have brown.

My DH has deep blue eyes, his mother has the same colour eyes and his father has green eyes. 2 of his siblings have blue and one has brown.

 

Our children. 3 have blue, but not nearly so deep blue as DH and 2 have green. Green is meant to be very recessive. seems to pop up quite a bit here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think some genetic lines are probably made up primarily of dominant genes (for example, looking back a few generations it's not likely I have any blue-eyed genes). When you have one parent with mainly dominant genes and one with mainly recessive genes, you end up with kids looking primarily like one parent. Myself, sister, our kids, father and all the cousins and uncles on one side look eerily similar. When my sister and I visited our families "hometown" in Scotland, which none of our immediate family has been to since 1917, we ran into distant cousins that also looked a lot like us (enough so that we were accosted several times by locals that thought we were someone else), so I think we have a lot of the more dominant genes in our pool. It will eventually get diluted, but it will take several generations.

 

 

My grandmother had a similar experience. her grandparents were from England. She went over to discover and visit her distant relatives and found that some had the exact same mannerisms as relatives here in Australia. some even had the same first names as some of her grandchildren.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...