Researchers have identified five of the genes that shape a person’s face, work that could help scientists better understand facial abnormalities like cleft palate and someday might even help forensic investigators determine what a criminal suspect looks like from crime-scene DNA.
Researchers previously knew that genetics played a large role in determining face shape, since identical twins share DNA. However, little was known about exactly which genes are involved. Three genes were thought to have roles in the arrangement of facial features, and the new research confirmed their involvement. It also identified two other genes.