Friday, August 19, 2011

What I learned today - lesson in genetics & a message to my sister's in law

Image from here.

I took the boys to the eye doctor today.
Our eye doctor has the same last name as a guy I was friends with in high school.
And who (whom?) took our engagement photos.
But I don't think they're related.
High school was Idaho.
Eye doctor is Oklahoma.
And there's a lot of years in between the two.

Anyway, one of the tests he did on the boys was a "color deficiency" test.
I was corrected when I called it the old school name.
Apparently it's offensive.

But not to the eye doctor, because he laughed after seeing the look on my face after the reprimand.
Our eye doctor has some color deficiencies.
He told us a tragic story about junior high and the color of corduroy pants he wore on the first day.
It was very traumatic for him, apparently what he saw as brown looked like purple to most everyone else.
Not good for a junior high young man.

I told him that experience probably defined the course of his life's work,
though he probably didn't even know it.

Then I told him that my father in law is color bli deficient.
At least I think he is. At least I think I've been told that a couple of times.
The man gave me a little lesson in genetics.

So, I have a message for my mr.'s sister who has sons.
And for his sister who hasn't sons, but might someday have some sons.

The gene for color deficiencies runs from father to daughter to son
who becomes a father who passes it on to his daughter
who passes it on to her sons.

You might want to get my cute nephew's color spectrum checked before middle school.

(I believe he also told me that it doesn't present in the daughters so that's probably why you two sisters have such great style and color sense. But I am a bit confused because I found out a week or two ago that our PTO President has some color deficiencies - especially with purple. And she's a she- so I guess either I will always wonder or I will just put it out of my mind and someday I will find the answer to that question.)


  1. Color . . .um. . .deficiency is usually a sex-linked recessive trait. Boys only have one copy(from their mother on their X chromosome), so if they have it they have it. But Girls have two copies (one from each parent, two X chromosomes), so for a girl to be color . . .deficient she must get mutated copies from both the mom and the dad. Which doesn't happen nearly so often as a boy getting his one mutated copy.

  2. Thanks for the heads up!
    Now I am going to find an online test, I am very curious...

  3. Yep, they are both color deficient.
    Good to know that I will be choosing their outfits until adulthood.

  4. Well, that explains why Ben thinks there are only 8 colors in the world and they can all be found in the small box of crayolas...

  5. Carissa-I love your smarts!
    Melissa-So glad to have helped my nephews!
    Anita-He just sees the world differently, doesn't he?


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