Saturday, October 06, 2007

Genetic Eye Color Test

I was reading this interesting Wired article on how DNA can be used to determine the race of an individual when I came across this juicy nugget:

RETINOME which predicts iris color with 96 percent accuracy is on the market and was used very effectively in the Napa murder case.
The idea of determining race from DNA is old hat, but I had no idea that they now could determine eye color. In fact, I was under the impression that eye color was determined by more than genes and a genetic test wasn't really possible. Of course, I am not quite sure what 96% accuracy means. Does that just check for simple categories like blue, green and hazel? Or does it take into account the more complex looking eye color patterns as seen in the photo?

This DNAPrint Genomics company's DNA Witness product is pretty impressive, but it looks to be much more so in the future.
He has identified the gene sequences associated with height, and has compiled a database of 5000 digital photographs of people with almost every racial ancestry combination -- which, one day, he says could allow him to construct a physical portrait of a DNA donor, including melanin content, skin color or eye color.
Wow, so now the CSI team will be able to determine height, race, skin color, and eye color (hmm, no hair color?) from DNA left at the scene. They practically can render a sketch of the perpetrator just from DNA.

Of course, I figure that in a generation we will all have our DNA put into a public database when we are born so this won't be necessary.

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