Elizabeth Taylor’s eyes reveal the mysteries of the human genome

I know that I’m late to the party on this one, but sometimes being late has its advantages.

Elizabeth Taylor, who passed away last week at the age of 79, was considered to be one of the more beautiful actresses from the previous century. One of her more distinctive features included her pretty eyes and long eyelashes. Yet in a blog post on BrowBeat (and pointed out by GenomeWeb’s Daily Scan) Roxanne Palmer writes that biographer J. Randy Tarborelli attributed Taylors long lashes to a mutant of the FOXC2 gene. Furthermore, Tarborelli claimed that Taylor’s parents knew about the mutation when she was born and dismissed it as not sounding “so terrible at all.”

All this is fine and dandy and a good story in itself, however, several commentor on both BrowBeat and The Daily Scan point out that Elizabeth Taylor was born in 1932 and the FOXC2 gene was cloned in 1998! Quite an interesting find indeed.

What’s my take on the story? Perhaps Elizabeth Taylor’s family physician was way ahead of his time. Could it be possible that he was able to look into her deep blue eyes and uncover the mysteries of the human genome? Now that’s a story!

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