Daily Archives: April 2, 2015

DNA Phenotyping: Real or Wishful Thinking?


Genotype means what your DNA is like. Phenotype means what you look like. No doubt your genotype dictates much of your phenotype, but can your DNA be used to create your image? Maybe, maybe not.

For law enforcement and forensic scientists, the question becomes: Can investigators use a DNA sample to create an image of a suspect? The creators of the SNAPSHOT technology believe so. This complex system looks at the areas of the DNA sequence (genotype) that are known to affect our appearance (phenotype). By analyzing these sequences, they believe they can create a reasonable likeness of the person.

This is obviously a new technique and much more study is required, but if it proves to be useful, it would offer a great tool to law enforcement. Having a DNA sample is one thing, but creating a suspect’s image from that would be a critical bit of evidence in tracking and identifying perpetrators.


Posted by on April 2, 2015 in DNA

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