Why each human face is unique
The unique characteristics of your face can be attributed to certain DNA sequences, according to new research published in the journal _Science. _
Scientists have known that genetics play a role in hereditary physical characteristics, but this study provides insight into the process by which DNA “fine-tunes” genetics and makes some people resemble each other and not others.
In the study, researchers examined the role of gene enhancers in the facial development of mice.
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory identified more than 4,000 gene-enhancing DNA sequences, which they predicted to play a role in fine-tuning genes involved in facial development. The researchers were then able to create maps of the gene enhancers by pin-pointing their location in the mice.
Knowing about these gene enhancers, their exact location in the human genome and their activity patterns in facial development may lead to a better understanding of the connection between genetics and development of the human face, researchers said.
Researchers are planning further research to search for mutations of gene enhancers in humans who have certain facial birth defects.