Hey, Blisstree Reader! We thought you might like these three new posts we just published. Enjoy!
The two girls you see in this photo are twins. Born to a mother of Jamaican-English descent and a father of German descent, Alicia and Jasmin Singerl were born in May, 2006. They look completely different.
Their mother, Natasha Knight says:
“When they were born you could see there was a color difference straight away. We couldn’t believe it.
Alicia’s eyes were brown and her hair was dark. Jasmin’s eyes were blue and her hair was white – you could hardly see her hair or her eyebrows.”
The Sunday Telegraph is calling this a “million-to-one medical miracle.”
Ahem. Statistically, this is perhaps a very unusual occurrence. But a medical miracle? Unlikely.
These girls are just like any other sibling pair because they are non-identical, born of two different fertilized eggs. That their mother has mixed parentage makes it even more likely for them to inherit a mixture of different genes that determine skin color. As a matter of fact, their five-year-old sister Taylah has blue eyes, blonde hair, and light olive complexion. Sort of in the middle of the the spectrum for the Knight-Singerl family.
In the process of meiosis when egg cells are formed in the mother, a random selection of genes will be allocated to each egg. The set of chromosomes in each egg cell is unique. We’re focusing on the twins’ mother here because the father is assumed to have a homogenous set of genes for white skin color.
Genetics experts say that in most cases a mixed-race woman’s eggs will be a mixture of genes for both black and white skin.
However, much more rarely, the eggs may contain genes for predominantly one skin color. In this case, Ms. Knight has released two such eggs – one with predominantly dark pigmentation genes and one with predominantly fair genes.
Wild and unlikely, yes. But a miracle? Not quite.
Update: Another pair of black and white twins has been identified – the Richardson twin boys of Britain.