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Why hasn't evolution sorted out eye defects? © iStock

Why hasn't evolution sorted out eye defects?

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There’s some evidence that short-sighted people have a higher than average IQ, which may be because the same genes affect the eyes and brain.

Asked by: Mark Buckmaster, Leicester

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Vision defects such as myopia (short-sightedness) aren’t caused by just one single gene. There’s some evidence that short-sighted people have a higher than average IQ, which may be because the same genes affect the eyes and brain. Vision defects often have environmental causes as well. Myopia is more common in people who do a lot of close-up work, have saturated fat in their diet and sleep with a light on. These are all relatively new in our evolutionary history.


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Authors

luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.

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