Scientists Create Mugshots From DNA Alone

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Geo Beats
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Researchers are perfecting a means to create a photographic image of a suspect using only DNA evidence that’s been left at the crime scene.

Researchers are perfecting a means to create a photographic image of a suspect using only DNA evidence that’s been left at the crime scene.

Currently DNA is often only helpful in locating a specific suspect if there’s a match in the database.

Their method would allow for physical facial markers to be determined from the DNA and plotted, resulting in a mugshot.

The research into how to make the proposed process a reality started by taking 3D photographs and examining the genetic makeup of 600 volunteers.

Each had an ancestry of combined European and West African descent, as the two ethnicities often have different face shapes.

That, they felt, would increase the likelihood of finding variants that informed facial structure.

Next, they broke the faces and shapes down to 7 thousand distinct points and developed a model that would determine which features would land where.

That technology was combined with the genetic testing they’d simultaneously performed.

Their results in creating a portrait from DNA information were impressive, but not yet ready to go mainstream.

Once they do, the mugshots will be an investigative tool only, and not admissible in court as evidence.

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