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Stone-Washed Genes

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Published in Brain Teasers

Both of my parents have brown eyes, as do I. My brother and my wife have blue eyes. Using the simple brown-blue model (two genes; a brown gene dominates blue gene), what are the chances of my first child having blue eyes?


Solution:

1 in 3.

Since my brother has blue eyes (bb), both of my parents carry one brown and one blue gene (Bb). The three possibilities for my genotype, equally likely, are BB, Bb, and bB. Thus, there is a 2/3 chance that I carry a blue gene.

If I carry a blue gene, there is a 50% chance I will pass it on to my first child (and, obviously, 0% if I carry two brown genes). Since my child will certainly get a blue gene from my wife, my gene will determine the eye color.

 

Multiplying the probabilities of those two independent events, there is a chance of 1/2 x 2/3 = 1/3 of my passing on a blue gene.

Today's brain teaser courtesy of Braingle.com.

 

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