New Information Could Lead to an Image Reconstruction of a Suspect’s Face Based on DNA


Image from io9.com

One day, police may be able to actually to reconstruct a suspect’s face simply from samples of their DNA.

This prospect is drawing nearer due to the recent identification of five genes that contribute to facial features and structures. There are already tests for predicting hair, eye, and skin color, based on DNA sampling; however, some of these are still in the works.

It’s also important not to jump on the genetic paradigm. In other words, new technology has made sequencing genomes, easier, quicker, and more understandable. Take into consideration though, that even with a complete genome there are gaps of information, and not everything can be deciphered. Proteomics is another branch of genetic biology that helps scientists understand how the genome operates, and which genes correspond to specific features and functions of a person. DNA testing is still not irrefutable in court, so even if this crime technology is able to be developed, there will be a large probability for a sizeable degree of error.

Along with that, five genes are very limited data to decipher all the uniqueness found within a human face, and genes may code for multiple things, which complicates the process even more.

These recent studies and new information is very exciting, and astounding in its own right, but that doesn’t mean everyone should get all hyped up and jump on this facial recognition bandwagon. It’s going to take a little—or a lot—bit longer until scientists can finalize this complex technology, and researchers are still in the planning stage.

Scientific Journal Reference: DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1002932

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