Ever wonder why Elizabeth Taylor had such compelling eyes? It turns out that she probably carried a mutation for doubled eyelashes, also known as distichiasis. [article]
The FOX (forkhead box) family of genes codes for a type of protein known as a transcription factor. This type of protein turns on and off genes during development as well as during cellular replication. Some of the FOX genes are important for longevity (article on longevity genes and FOXO3A).
The FOXC2 gene turns genes on and off during prenatal development. Specifically, it is required during the development of the kidneys and early development of the heart. It is also important for the development of the valves in the lymphatic system [ref]
So what do the lymphatic valves and heart development have to do with double eyelashes? Well, a mutation in the FOXC2 gene not only causes double lashes but also causes a predisposition to lymphedema (swelling of the arms and legs) and an increased risk of congestive heart failure. This mutation can also cause droopy eyelids and yellowish nails. It is amazing what these transcription factors can do when they turn on or off genes during development.
Genetic variants that cause double lashes:
Oh, no! You've reached the end of the Free Preview of this Member's Only Article.
Love what you're reading? Join as a Genetic Lifehacks member for full access to this article and more!
- being able to view your genetic data right in the articles ~no more looking up rs ids!~
- topic overview reports that visually show you which articles are relevant to your genes.
- awesome articles explaining your genes, lifehacks (solutions!) relevant to you, and the scientific research behind them.
- ad-free experience, no tracking and privacy is the no. 1 priority!
Already a member? Please log in below to read the rest of the article and view the lifehacks.