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Genetics: Black Parents Shocked to Give Birth to White Baby Girl

Posted by Admin on Jul 21st, 2010 and filed under Santé. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Time.com|21 July 2010|

IAN HOOTON/Science Photo Library/Corbis

A black couple living in the U.K. were shocked by the birth of a blonde haired, blue-eyed girl.

Ben Ihegboro must have briefly questioned his wife Angela’s fidelity after the birth of Nmachi, and he conceded: “We both just sat there after the birth staring at her”.

As there is no known mixed-race background in either of the parents’ families, geneticists are baffled by the newborn‘s surprise appearance.

Nmachi is the couple’s third child, with Dumebi, 2, and Chisom, 4, each bearing a strong resemblance to their parents. Doctors rejected the possibility of the baby being albino. The real cause is unknown, with the only explanation being a “genetic quirk.” (See pictures of the first years of four babies.)

Professor Bryan Sykes, head of human genetics at Oxford University, described the birth as “extraordinary,” telling The Sun that for the baby to be completely white, both Ben and Angela would need to have “some form of white ancestry.’” The explanation for this lies in that mixed-race women carry some eggs containing genes for white skin and others for black; similarly men carry the same range of genes in their sperm. (See pictures of pregnant belly art.)

Professor Sykes commented: “The hair is extremely unusual. Even many blonde children don’t have blonde hair like this at birth.”

Ben said that his son Chisom “keeps coming to look at his sister and then sits down looking puzzled.”

Well, Chisom, we’re puzzled too! (via The Sun)

- Zander Sharp

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