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“The very genes that determine eye color are linked to alcohol dependency.”

Eye contact is now good for two things: staring people down until they crack, and judging whether your friends are alcoholics.

Turns out, photosensitivity isn’t the only thing light-eyed people have to look out for: a recent study by the University of Vermont discovered a possible connection between a person’s eye color and their vulnerability to alcohol dependence.

The study looked at 1,263 European-Americans, and saw a correlation between the genetic markers behind alcoholism and the ones that determine eye color. Alcohol dependence was found to be most common among individuals with light-colored eyes (blue, green, grey, light brown), with blue-eyed people having the highest incidence of all.

In the UVM press release, Arvis Sulovari — the doctoral student who led the research effort alongside Assistant Professor Dawei Li, PhD — said “this suggests an intriguing possibility – that eye color can be useful in the clinic for alcohol dependence diagnosis.”

Of course, we won’t know the whole story until the research is replicated and tested further — that’s the scientific method for ya. If the correlation still appears in the next wave of research, though, Li told the Huffington Post that the next step will be to figure out how much of it’s pure genetics, and how much (if any) can be chalked up to cultural factors.

According to the research published in the American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics, among European-Americans (white people), those with light eyes — including green, grey and brown in the center – had a higher incidence of alcohol dependency than those with dark brown eyes.

The strongest tendency, they concluded, is among blue-eyed individuals.

Basically, If your eyes look like this:

You might be an alcoholic. (Well that, and maybe for some other reasons.)

Researcher Dawei Li says they are still unsure of the reason, but they do know that the genes that determine eye color are on the same chromosome that determines alcohol dependency, and that this could potentially help doctors identify alcoholics.

Takeaway? If you have blue eyes, you have a higher chance of being an alcoholic.

But that’s not all! Science has a lot more to say about you and your blue peepers.

You are related to everyone else with blue eyes.

So stop having sex with other blue-eyed people right now. Kidding, but seriously, at some point you and your blue-eyed peers shared a common ancestor. According to a Danish researcher, everyone had brown eyes until a mutation entered the gene pool thousands and thousands of years ago. Does this mean it is incest if you have sex with another blue-eyed person? No, but you are still probably a pervert.

You have a higher tolerance for pain.

Dr. Inna Belfer, a geneticist at the University of Pittsburgh, conducted a study of women about to give childbirth, separating the women into groups of eye color. She found that women in the light-eyed group seemed to cope with childbirth the best. Other researchers in the field believe genes linked to melanin may strongly influence pain experiences; this pigment, found in the brain, is linked to darker-colored eyes.

You are more competitive.

According to Medical Daily, “After examining 336 participants, researchers from two different universities in Australia found that people with darker eyes were more ‘agreeable’ than North Europeans with blue eyes.” Looks like little miss and mister blue eyes are used to getting their way.

You are less trustworthy.

Or at least, that’s what people think. In a recent study, participants were shown facial photographs and told to rate them on perceived trustworthiness. Overwhelmingly, people chose those with dark eyes as being more trustworthy. But don’t go smearing your eyeballs with mud just yet. The researchers believed that correlation had more to do with the face shape of brown-eyed people, rather than the brown eyes themselves. I didn’t realize brown-eyed people were walking around with a more trustworthy face shape, but if you ever want a political edge, you’re going to have to get some discreet plastic surgery, not colored contacts.

You are more sensitive.

To light, that is. The reduced melanin in your irises means you have an increased likelihood of melanoma of the eyes. Sorry, pal. And, if you’ve ever accidentally gotten sunscreen in your eyes, you know that is not a good way to protect them (unless you’re one of those people who gets off on stinging pain), so maybe go with sunglasses instead.

 

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