The faces of murderers or rapists could be ‘recreated’ from DNA left at the scene of the crime, according to new research.
Scientists have identified the genes that shape the extraordinary variation in the human face.
Many features, such as nose size and face width, stem from specific mutations, say researchers.
Previous studies have suggested they are controlled by genes , but this is the first to shed light on how variants contribute to the range of different forms we see.
The findings published in PLOS Genetics may also help researchers to learn how facial birth defects arise.
And they could even have applications in forensics, helping police construct more accurate faces of dangerous criminals being hunted for murders, rapes and robberies.