Real Life Smurfs

The Blue People

Some people inherit blue eyes form their parents. But a group of people in Kentucky inherit blue skin.

A recessive trait can lie hidden in a family's genes for generations before it shows up again. That's because each offspring has to receive the recessive gene from both parents, not just one. Blue-tinge skin is one such recessive trait. it is found among a group of people living in eastern Kentucky. Because the group is relatively small. recessive forms of genes are often paired, and the trait shows up frequently.

Before you continue reading answer the following question.

WHO AM I? Take a look at your classmates. Does anyone look just like you? NO- unless your identical twin is in your class! Does anyone share something in common with you? Well, yes- most have the same basic body features. But does everyone have hair just like yours? What about the shape of your eyes?

Why do you think people often look like other members of their family?



Traits make their way through generations as they are passed from parents to offspring.

The Blue People

Six generations after a French orphan named Martin Fugate settled on the banks of eastern Kentucky's Troublesome Creek with his redheaded American bride, his great-great-great-great grandson (Ben Stacy) was born in a modern hospital not far from where the creek still runs.

The boy inherited his father's lankiness, being tall and thin, and his mother's slightly nasal, nose, way of speaking. What he got from Martin Fugate was dark blue skin. "It was almost purple," his father recalls.

Ben lost his blue tint within a few weeks, and now he is about as normal looking a seven-year-old boy as you could hope to find. His lips and fingernails still turn a shade of purple-blue when he gets cold or angry.

After ruling out heart and lung diseases, the doctor suspected methemoglobinemia, a rare hereditary blood disorder...(The doctor) also concluded that the condition was inherited as a simple recessive trait. In other words, to get the disorder, a person would have to inherit two genes for it, on from each parent. Some body wit only one gene would not have the condition but could pass the gene to a child.