By Christine Jacob
Niall Horan, Taylor Swift, Bradley Cooper, Ashley Benson. What do all these people have in common? They all share the same eye color: blue. Although there is always a debate on which color eyes are most attractive, it is fair to say that having blue eyes is relatively uncommon and can make one stand out in a crowd.
From a scientific standpoint, there are actually some complicated genetics behind blue eyes. In fact, having this color is a genetic mutation–the result of slight changes in the gene sequence that code for eye color. So until this point, the color of the “windows to one’s soul” was actually determined by mere luck, essentially a bumping of various atoms while a baby is still in its developmental stages.
That is, until now.
Stroma Medical Corporation, a late-stage research and development company in California, has engineered a laser procedure that can permanently change eye color from brown to blue. Dr. Gregg Homer, a scientist and inventor of this procedure, refers to it more as “revealing” a blue eye rather than changing it.
“The fundamental principle is that under every brown eye is a blue eye,” said Dr. Homer. “The only difference is this very thin layer of pigment on the surface.”
The procedure would essentially remove this pigment in order to reveal the blue eye underneath–a process that takes only twenty seconds to do and results in the emergence of blue eye color within a few weeks.
So far this invention is still in the fundraising stage, but a total of thirty-seven patients have undergone the procedure in Mexico and Costa Rica. The $5,000 procedure has so far been successful, and Homer hopes to be entering into clinical trials in the near future.
Needless to say, debate will emerge regarding the ethics of such procedures, but Homer remains defensive of the idea.
“All your problems don’t go away because you’ve changed your eye color,” says the doctor, “but I do believe that people like to express themselves a certain way and it’s nice when they have the freedom to do that.”