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Aphid Jones
23rd February 09, 07:04 PM
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2009/0216/1233867939011.html


DNA sample may be enough to build an image of your face

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/images/2009/0216/thumb/1233867939011_1.jpg (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/images/2009/0216/1233867939011_1.html)Derek Todd Lee: genetic analysis of DNA evidence found at the crime scene helped lead to his arrest

In this section » (http://www.irishtimes.com/frontpage/index.html)


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DICK AHLSTROM, Science Editor, in ChicagoFORENSIC SCIENCE is about to take a startling new turn – reconstructing facial features and skin tone simply by reading your DNA. This goes far beyond doing an identity-proving genetic fingerprint, it means the person’s actual face will emerge after analysing a collection of genes, according to a scientist from Pennsylvania State University.
The process, “forensic molecular photofitting” relies on mapping genes that are linked to skin pigmentation and in its more complex form, to groups of genes that control facial structure, stated Dr Mark Shriver.
The approach has already been used to help identify and convict a serial killer in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Dr Shriver said over the weekend at a presentation to the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Chicago.
The session was chaired by Ireland’s chief scientific adviser, Prof Patrick Cunningham.
Derek Todd Lee was convicted of murder in 2004 and faces a death sentence. He is implicated in the deaths of at least seven women. Initial witness testimony indicated he was white, but genetic analysis of DNA evidence left at the crime scenes showed he was actually African American, something that aided his arrest, Dr Shriver said.
He has done extensive analysis of the genetic origins of Americans, looking for DNA markers to indicate the mix of European, African or Native American background.
“We are not doing race genetics,” he said. Race was a complex issue that involved both cultural and biological aspects. “Race is a mixed effect and its meaning is interpreted in different ways.” Rather, he was trying to understand population genetics as applied generally in molecular biology.
Work so far showed the European American/African American genetic mix was as low as 3.5 per cent in a sample from Georgia but as high as 35 per cent in a sample from Seattle.
Dr Shriver is now mapping genes that define facial shape. He links the gene mix with fixed points on the face, for example eye corners and separation, corners of the mouth, nose tip and length and face edges.
These are being computerised with the gene mix indicating what the ratio will be between these various facial features. It allows the computer to build up an image of a face based only on the gene mix found in the DNA. He indicated that “maybe 500 facial markers and 500 ancestry markers” would be enough to build an accurate and complete face.


Will a market appear for compact, aerosol spray bleach that can fit snugly on your person?

HappyOldGuy
23rd February 09, 07:07 PM
If you haven't already watched gattaca, you really should.

nihilist
23rd February 09, 07:19 PM
If you haven't already watched gattaca, you really should.


^This^

WarPhalange
23rd February 09, 08:31 PM
So I'll have to carry around dog DNA in various forms from now on, just in case I need to contaminate a uhh.... place of interest.

Equipoise
23rd February 09, 09:07 PM
As soon as they can genetically modify me like a Warhammer 40k Space Marine, I'm there.

Marrt
23rd February 09, 09:30 PM
As an aside. How fucking cool is that! seriously... fucking awesome.

LoGYx35ypus

WarPhalange
23rd February 09, 10:10 PM
As an aside. How fucking cool is that! seriously... fucking awesome.

LoGYx35ypus

I can't speak for engineers or people in other science fields, but us physics kids are amazed by things like light bulbs and this:

PMfGZit_sak&feature=related

and I think a lot of people take technology for granted these days is because they simply don't understand how it works. All they know is that you press a button to make it go.

Robot Jesus
23rd February 09, 11:47 PM
and I think a lot of people take technology for granted these days is because they simply don't understand how it works. All they know is that you press a button to make it go.


Quoted for truth

human advancement is awe inspiring. the first time I saw this it brought a tear to my eye.
V5BxymuiAxQ

I also consider playing civilization a spiritual experience.

Robot Jesus
23rd February 09, 11:54 PM
as a counterpoint I would like to share that this came up as a related video

e13RGx1zVV0&feature=related

Cullion
24th February 09, 04:56 PM
They still won't convict Michael Jackson.

Dagon Akujin
25th February 09, 09:45 AM
They were talking about this on NPR last week. They pointed out that it has tons of handicaps and can be quite unpredictable. They interviewed a guy who looked black, was raised black, had two black parents... and yet was 0% African and around like 90% European. While things like eye and hair color are pretty easy, other things like skin tone can actually be quite difficult to predict. Also, "European" did not break down between pastey Irish and olive Jordanians.

The way they used to "science" (and they used this term loosely at times) was to pull up pictures of other people with similar markers, and then "guess" at what the target DNA donor looked like. So hey, these 20 other people with your markers have big noses, blue eyes, light skin, attached earlobes, and a small mouth? Well hey! They got your eye-color right at least.

Aphid Jones
25th February 09, 09:53 AM
Also, "European" did not break down between pastey Irish and olive Jordanians.

So it can only predict what, skeletal structure? You'd think it would be able to have greater precision.

Dagon Akujin
25th February 09, 10:27 AM
^^^^ No, it can predict that if 52% of people with a certain marker have large ears, that you have a 52% chance of having large ears.

FriendlyFire
27th February 09, 09:31 PM
First off you don't need to dump on brand fucking new technology. It will obviously improve. Also, its not like they will ever use this for a conviction. It gives a good way to get an approximate picture. They take a guy in and can test his DNA, since they already have the suspects DNA. Its like an eye witness sketch except more accurate and wearing a mask doesn't void it.

AAAhmed46
27th February 09, 09:45 PM
If you haven't already watched gattaca, you really should.

Your not the first person to tell me that.

nihilist
27th February 09, 10:52 PM
You really should watch Gattaca.

Equipoise
3rd March 09, 12:54 PM
First off you don't need to dump on brand fucking new technology. It will obviously improve. Also, its not like they will ever use this for a conviction. It gives a good way to get an approximate picture. They take a guy in and can test his DNA, since they already have the suspects DNA. Its like an eye witness sketch except more accurate and wearing a mask doesn't void it.

It's more of a tool for police as if we don't have an immediate suspect for an incident, we can run the DNA through that fancy device and get an approximation of what the suspect would look like which is excellent PC for detainment/arrest.