Both articles show how much modern-day detectives can discern just from a suspect’s genetic code. Far beyond using DNA “fingerprints” to link an individual to a crime scene, forensic profiling is edging toward the capability to create a police-artist-style sketch of an unknown person by reading traits inscribed in the genome. “The body interprets the DNA to determine the appearance of the face,” says anthropologist Mark Shriver of Morehouse College, who hopes to duplicate that ability within a decade.
Your DNA determines a lot about you, including many of your physical characteristics. Eye color and hair color are obvious examples, but DNA can also be used to trace your ancestry to a general region, which might offer other clues about your appearance.
Question: if you could obtain enough DNA evidence of an ancestor, could similar technology show what he or she looked like? If this technology is reliable (and I am not yet sure that it is), the result might be a great substitute for a photograph.
My thanks to Sandy Coulter for telling me about these articles.