Vishal Gulati

3D model reconstructs face from nothing but DNA 

September 17, 2012

Taking a drop of blood of criminal from a crime scene, running a few DNA tests and coming out with a rough sketch of what they may look like definitely CSI Miami. The show, most derided by those with a scientific bent, may just have been a few years ahead of real scientific discoveries which now promise to have this in the hands of criminal investigators. Of course, it is not magic. Many of our physical traits are coded in our DNA. We are aware of the genetic basis of our hair colour and eye colour but it appears others things such as the width of the bridge of your nose etc is also possible to be determined by looking at what genes you have.

CSI_Miami_-_The_Complete_1st_Season_On_DVDThe use case is, however, more nuanced that a typical CSI Miami episode. It is less about magical suspect identification and arrest before the show ends. It is more about adding this information to the other sources of suspect identification that may exist eg Witness testimony and grainy CCTV images  (of course, CSI Miami have the technology to make that into clear pictures)

Source (updated, original link dead!): 3D model reconstructs face from nothing but DNA – KU Leuven