You are here: Home » News-IANS » Health-Medicine
Business Standard

New web tool to predict eye, hair and skin colour from DNA sample

Topics
Law Crime

IANS  |  New York 

Researchers have developed a novel web tool that can accurately predict eye, hair and skin colour from even a small DNA sample, an advance that can be used when standard forensic profiling is not helpful.

The "HIrisPlex-S DNA test" system is capable of generating all three pigment traits from human biological material together using a freely available web tool.

The tool is designed to be used when standard forensic DNA profiling is not helpful because no reference DNA exists against which to compare the evidence sample.

"We have previously provided law enforcement and anthropologists with DNA tools for eye colour and for combined eye and hair colour, but skin colour has been more difficult," said Susan Walsh, forensic geneticist at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis in the US.

Users, such as law enforcement officials or anthropologists, can enter relevant data using a laboratory DNA analysis tool, and the web tool will predict the pigment profile of the DNA donor.

"Importantly, we are directly predicting actual skin colour divided into five subtypes -- very pale, pale, intermediate, dark and dark to black -- using DNA markers from the genes that determine an individual's skin coloration.

"If anyone asks an eyewitness what they saw, the majority of time they mention hair colour and skin colour. What we are doing is using genetics to take an objective look at what they saw," Walsh said.

The results are published in the journal, Forensic Science International: Genetics.

The innovative high-probability and high-accuracy complete pigmentation profile web tool is available online without charge, the researchers said.

--IANS

rt/mag/him/vm

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Tue, May 15 2018. 18:40 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU