Despite what popular shows about acronyms fighting crime may tell you, DNA evidence is not exactly a silver bullet. You not only need a good sample to sequence, you need suspects to draw DNA from. One company, however, claims it can help you find those suspects, by creating a computer simulation of your face with a DNA sample.
Parabon NanoLabs is making a controversial claim, namely that they know genetics well enough to guess the shape of a person’s face. That’s actually a lot more controversial than you might think. The genetics for hair and eye color, for example, occupy relatively few genes, so they’re a lot easier to suss out with more accuracy. The shape of your face is dictated by far more genes, so it’s much harder to nail down.
That hasn’t stopped the company from doing it anyway, of course, and that’s made some people concerned. After all, with quite literally quadrillions of possibilities in the average genome, there’s a pretty good chance Parabon could screw up and the wrong person is thrown under suspicion. Also, needless to say, just because your DNA happens to be at a crime scene doesn’t mean you’re guilty of the crime.
Still, the technology is only going to improve as we learn more about genetics and modeling the results of a genome. On the bright side, though, we now have a new highly inaccurate technology for TV writers to overstate the effectiveness of!