Frequently Asked Questions: Genetics

Q. What is the Human Genome Project?
A. The Human Genome Project is the mapping of the sequence of chemicals called DNA in all of our genes. All the information collected so far would fill about 200 telephone directories.

Q. Why are the eyes of albinos pink?
A. Albinos do not have the coloured pigment in the iris of their eyes, so what we see is the blood vessels at the back of the eye.

Q. Is it true that more men are colour-blind than women?
A. There are different forms of colour-blindness, and the most common form - red-green colour-blindness is more common in men. It is a sex-linked characteristic which means that the colour-blind gene is carried on the X chromosome. For men to be born colour-blind, they only need one colour-blind gene on the X chromosome. For women to be colour-blind, they need two colour-blind genes on their X chromosomes. An optometrist can test a person for colour-blindness.