Can genes predict appearance

Studies have found that the nose is most affected by genes. The picture shows a photo of Kaiya and her supermodel mother Cindy Crawford. The daughter has perfectly inherited the gene of her mother’s nose.

A new study shows that more than 130 regions in human DNA play a big role in shaping facial features, among which the nose is the human organ most affected by genes. Understanding the relationship between specific genes and facial features is of great significance to plastic surgery, and can help treat facial deformities, and orthodontic treatment of patients through genetic means.

A person’s appearance is obviously related to genetic genes, and most people have no objection to this. Just look through your family photo album and observe the nose, eyes or chin of your grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins, and you will be convinced of the power of genes. But what most people may not understand is that a person with a genetic syndrome usually has distinctive facial features. This syndrome is usually caused by a destructive mutation in one or more genes.

Another fact that may surprise you is that geneticists have hardly known which part of our DNA is related to the most basic facial features. Human facial expressions play a very important role in basic interpersonal communication. Therefore, our lack of knowledge in this area is indeed a regrettable thing. However, with recent research progress, the emergence of large data sets that combine genetic information with measurable facial images has rapidly advanced research in this area, and scientists are uncovering some of the mysteries that genes determine human facial features.

So, how much do people currently know about the genetics of facial appearance? Can we accurately predict a person’s appearance through DNA analysis? What are the important effects of research on the relationship between genes and appearance on health and disease? A collaborative research team composed of anthropologists and human geneticists has made some progress. Their research focuses on revealing the biological factors that lead to similarities and differences in human facial appearance.

Chromosome regions related to appearance
How many genes are related to human appearance? There is still no complete answer yet. Recently, an article published by a collaborative research team in Nature Genetics showed that more than 130 chromosomal regions related to specific aspects of facial shape have been identified. Recognizing these regions is to understand how genes affect and determine our facial features. Understanding this knowledge and information is a critical step that will have a beneficial impact on human health in the future.

Researchers searched for the answers to these questions by scanning the DNA of more than 8,000 human individuals. They found about 7 million genetic markers (identified locations of diverse human genetic codes) and dozens of precise data from 3D facial shape images. Find a statistically significant connection between.

When they find that there is a statistical association between a facial feature and one or more genetic markers, they can precisely lock a certain DNA region on the chromosome, and the genes located around the region will become the facial features (such as The main candidate genes for the shape of the nose or lips, especially when we have other relevant information that can be used as evidence-for example, when facial features begin to form in the embryo, these genes may be quite active.

Although more than 130 chromosomal regions may sound like a considerable number, it is estimated that thousands of such regions-so there are thousands of genes that will affect the appearance of a person’s face. Although the effects of individual genes may be extremely small, many genes in these chromosomal regions will affect our appearance. Therefore, we may never have enough statistical power to detect them.

Recognition of the genes that determine facial features
When intensively observing the related genes in these more than 130 DNA regions, the researchers found some interesting patterns. Whether you are satisfied or dissatisfied with your nose, the nose is the most genetically affected organ of the face. This is actually not surprising, because the shape of the nose is relatively fixed. Other organs on the face, such as the cheeks, are largely affected by lifestyle factors such as diet and undergo subtle changes, so they can show the least association with genes.

In addition, the ways in which these genes affect face shape and appearance are not exactly the same. Studies have found that some genes have a greater impact on local features and only affect certain specific parts of the face, while the effects of other genes may involve multiple parts of the face. These genes have a wide range of effects that determine appearance.

The study also found that a large part of the genes that affect facial features are involved in the basic developmental process of our body, such as the formation of bones. In many cases, these genes are also related to some rare genetic syndromes and facial abnormalities (such as cleft palate).

In addition, another interesting phenomenon discovered by the researchers is that there is a high degree of overlap between genes involved in facial features and limb development, which provides important clues for finding the reasons why many genetic syndromes are characterized by hand and facial deformities. In a study of gene mutations, researchers also found that genes related to facial shape may also be related to cancer. This is an important discovery. Because it has been observed in the treatment that some children with cancer have distinctive and more unique facial features.

DNA prediction of facial features is not yet possible
In the present, or even in the foreseeable future, it is unlikely that a sample will be taken from your DNA and then used to construct your appearance. Predicting a person’s appearance is a very complex and difficult task, just like predicting the characteristics and functions of any other complex genes.

The currently identified more than 130 DNA regions can only explain less than 10% of the changes in facial shape, but even if we crack the mystery of all genes related to facial appearance, predicting human appearance is still a huge challenge. This is because complex features like face shape cannot be determined simply by summarizing the effects of a bunch of individual genes. In addition to genetic factors, facial features are also affected by many biological and non-biological factors, such as age, diet, climate, hormones, trauma, disease, sun exposure, biomechanics, and surgery.

All these factors interact with our genes in extremely complex ways. Another factor that contributes to this increase in complexity is that there will also be interactions between genes. This is called “ectopic dominance” in genetics, and its impact may be very complex and irrelevant. predicted.

Therefore, it is not surprising that researchers have tried to predict the facial features of an individual through DNA, but have not been able to succeed so far. This is not to say that such a prediction will never be possible, but at least it will not be possible now or even in the near future.

Related research will benefit mankind
In the 21st century, one of the most exciting developments in the medical field is the use of patients’ genetic information to formulate personalized treatment plans and ultimately achieve the goal of improving human health.

An in-depth understanding of how genes affect the timing and speed of facial growth is very important for planning treatment plans in medical fields such as orthodontics or reconstructive surgery. If one day we can use genetics to help predict when a child’s deformed jaw reaches its peak growth potential, then orthodontists can use this information to help determine the best intervention time to obtain the best plastic treatment effect .

Similarly, understanding how genes determine the size and shape of facial features individually or in concert can also provide new molecular targets for drug treatments aimed at correcting facial growth defects.

For now, even in the not-too-distant future, using genes to predict facial appearance is still a very distant dream, but scientists are revealing some interesting connections between how genes affect and determine human facial features. The more you learn about the mystery of human facial genes, the more likely it is to provide more new insights and provide more valuable information for doctors to understand the root causes of congenital facial deformities and to formulate the best interventions and treatment plans for the benefit More patients, to improve and improve their quality of life, is also of great significance for improving the overall health of human beings.