Sunday, April 27, 2008

“It Don’t Matter if Your Black or White”

In 2006 a British couple gave birth to a pair of twin sisters, one black and one white. Both the mother and father were of mixed race with both their mothers’ being white and both their fathers’ black. This phenomenon shocked many people worldwide, as the odds of a mixed couple having twins of different skin colour are quite rare.

The skin colour is believed to be determined by up to seven different genes working together. A woman of mixed race contains a mixture of genes coding for both black and white while a man of mixed race will have a variety of genes. When these genes come together they normally produce a baby of mixed race but sometimes an egg or sperm might contain genes coding for only one skin colour.

Researchers believe that if both the egg and sperm contain white genes then the baby will be white and if both contain the black gene the baby will be black. If in any given circumstance the sperm containing all-white genes fuses with a similar egg and sperm coding for a purely black gene, then two babies of different colour will be born. However the chance of this happening is about a million to one.

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