Police officers and anthropologists around the world now have a new tool to help them figure out what a person looks like with basic DNA information. Called the HIrisPlex-S system, this software could be used to determine a person’s eye, skin, and hair colours with a DNA sample.
All people need to use this system is basic info that could be found on any standard DNA test. Apparently, this technology works so well thanks to a complex understanding of pigment profiles.
One of the highlights of this technology is that it can produce exceptional results with very little DNA data. Plus, this technology is free and open to the public. Anyone can use this DNA scanning tool at the website https://hirisplex.erasmusmc.nl/.
Both the Erasmus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam and the School of Science at Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) collaborated on this project. Researchers hope to further improve the accuracy of their website in the years to come.
The main researchers on this project include Drs. Susan Walsh and Manfred Kayser. Dr. Walsh works in the IUPUI’s Department of Biology and Dr. Kayser teaches at Erasmus MC’s Department of Genetic Identification. A few other important researchers on this software include Drs. Lakshmi Chaitanya, Krystal Breslin, and Sofia Zuñiga.
Anyone who wants to read more about this technology should check out the latest copy of Forensic Science International: Genetics. This article was entitled, “The HIrisPlex-S system for eye, hair and skin colour prediction from DNA: Introduction and forensic developmental validation.”