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

IANS  |  New York 

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

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

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

"We have previously provided 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 in the US.

Users, such as officials or anthropologists, can enter relevant data using a laboratory DNA analysis tool, and the 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 to take an objective look at what they saw," Walsh said.

The results are published in the journal, International:

The innovative high-probability and high-is available online without charge, the researchers said.



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

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