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Australian police-developed DNA forensics may soon reveal other biometrics

Australian police-developed DNA forensics may soon reveal other biometrics

A growing list of a suspect’s characteristics is being deduced from crime scene DNA samples by the Australian Federal Police (AFP), with the possibility to predict face biometrics and fingerprints in the future via “massively parallel sequencing,” reports the Brisbane Times.

If a DNA sample collected in a police enquiry does not match any police biometric databases (or consumer ancestry or health testing databases in some jurisdictions), it can already reveal basics such as gender, eye and hair color.

More characteristics will soon be available to help narrow the search, including age prediction, body mass index and height. Dr. Paul Roffey, lead scientist on the AFP’s project and adjunct professor at the University of Canberra, told the Brisbane Times that work the AFP has been doing with a European consortium has already led to ages estimation within plus or minus four years.

Other characteristics such as facial details including the distance between eyes, the shape of features or bone structure could be coming soon. Dr. Roffey speculates that these may at some point be made compatible to integrate with facial recognition software.

The genetics behind fingerprints may also be unravelled to give an idea of an additional biometric marker to aid a forensic investigation.

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