Photos of the Day: 3-D model links facial features and DNA
DNA can already tell us the sex and ancestry of unknown individuals, but now an international team of researchers is beginning to connect genetics with facial features, degrees of femininity and racial admixture. These are images of faces showing the range of variation for both sex and ancestry with European on the left, African on the right, male at the top and female at the bottom, shown with DNA strand.
In essence, by including sex and racial admixture, researchers can learn about how certain genes and their variations influence the shape of the face and its features.
The researchers looked at both actual physical face shape and genetic markers of face shape. They then validated their study by asking individuals to look at faces and determine four things. Is this face male or female? How feminine is it? What proportion of this person is West African? What group would you put this person in, Black African or African-American; White, European or European-American; or Mixed?