Can we predict what a person's face looks like based solely on a sample of their DNA? A new study says yes, but geneticists aren't so sure.

SeekerPublished: July 10, 2018Updated: July 11, 2018
Published: July 10, 2018Updated: July 11, 2018

Craig Venter, a pioneer in human genetic research and sequencing recently co-authored a paper saying if someone got your DNA, they could use it to reveal your face.  In the paper, they sequenced the genomes of over a thousand people, and captured a bunch of metadata. They fed this into an algorithm.  The program compared all the metadata to the DNA, looking for small differences, and matching features.

This paper argues we should be concerned about storing DNA on publically accessible databases for the sake of privacy. They say, if compromised, someone could pick out your face armed only with your DNA.

Obviously, if true, this is pretty freaky. Especially when combined with another creepy project from 2013. A New York artist took cigarette butts, hair, and other discarded items, pulled DNA off of them, sequenced that DNA, and performed facial reconstruction.  The idea being, this face could be the person who dropped the DNA.

 

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