Illuminating the Future of Eye Color with CRISPR Gene Editing

Saesha Kukreja
6 min readFeb 1, 2024

As a biology major and article writer, I decided it would only make sense to write an article about CRISPR. I realize that this topic has been somewhat overused, but after browsing Reddit for a while, I concluded that although most people already know what CRISPR is, they may not know of its use for aesthetic purposes, such as changing the color of the eye.

Image from Warby Parker

The inspiration behind the topic for this article came not from my biology background but from Aishwarya Rai. Yes, you read that right. If you don’t know who that is, she is a Bollywood actress well known for being Miss World in 1994. One of her most striking features is her gorgeous aqua-green-blue eyes.

Image from India TV News

Growing up, my sister let me on on a little rumor that Aishwarya Rai had gone to some foreign country to surgically turn her original brown eyes into blue eyes. I was absolutely fascinated with this, and now, years later, it’s sparked some unanswered questions in me: is it actually possible to change your eye color and what actually contributes to the color of our eyes?

I decided to take a deep dive through videos and literature available on this topic to let you in on a little secret: it seems that it may actually be possible! So, if you’ve ever wanted stunning aqua-green-blue eyes like Aishwarya Rai, there may be hope for you.

Where do blue eyes come from?

In a video by WIRED, Human Geneticist Dr. Neville Sanjana explained that all human beings originally had brown eyes until a genetic mutation came around 6,000 to 10,000 years ago, which caused the origin of blue-eyed individuals to arise due to a gene called OCA2. In my first-year biology class, I learned that genes can be switched on or off like a light switch; in this case, the OCA2 gene was turned off, which quite literally turned off the ability to produce brown eyes.

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Saesha Kukreja

Biology Major 🔬/ Author of Quaranteen 🖋/ Avid Reader and Bibliophile 📚