Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Faces reconstructed from DNA data

A video on the BBC website http://m.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-27668747 is accompanied by the text "Today we can all look online to find out who our ancestors were, and soon geneticists hope that DNA can show us their faces as well."

The reality is in an article published in PLOS Genetics, http://journals.plos.org/plosgenetics/article?id=10.1371/journal.pgen.1004224 "Modeling 3D Facial Shape from DNA". It concludes in part "... much more work is needed before we can know how many genes will be required to estimate the shape of a face in some useful way and many more populations need to be studied before we can know how generalizable the results are ..."

I'd like to see a comparison between a face and the corresponding reconstruction, then a side by side reconstruction of a face, with corresponding photographs from same sex siblings, to see just how much discrimination is possible.
In the meantime it's a nice "gee whiz" media item.

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