Imagine a DNA being used to deduce the face of the person to whom the DNA belongs. That may sound like science fiction but researchers at Penn State are on their way to accomplish this.
DNA analysis has long been used by the legal authorities. However, the way they use DNA analysis is redundant. The research that makes use of DNA has gone a long way but these advancements aren’t yet effectively utilized by the law enforcement.
A new study published recently now envisions a method of identifying the facial structure of a person simply by using his or her DNA. Researchers at Penn State and the Catholic University of Leuven have already carried out a research which promises that such an idea is viable and possible.
As part of their research, 600 volunteers with mixed European and West African ancestry were signed up. First, 3D images of their facial structures were taken. Next, the researchers checked out the presence of certain genetic variants in each of these volunteers. Each volunteer was tested for 76 of these variants and in the end, scientists were able to track down 20 such variants which are directly linked to the facial structure.
The concept here is that once researchers have adequate knowledge about the variants and factors affecting face structure, they will be able to calculate them in a given DNA and map out the corresponding person’s face. This is a very ambitious idea but so far, it seems substantiated by and based in practical research. For the law enforcement agencies, this research has immense potential because it will help them identify the faces of culprits merely from their DNA.