Building a Face, and a Case, on DNA

Andrew Pollack, for the NYTimes:

DNA phenotyping is different: an attempt to determine physical traits from genetic material left at the scene when no match is found in the conventional way. Though the science is still evolving, small companies like Parabon NanoLabs, which made the image in the South Carolina case, and Identitas have begun offering DNA phenotyping services to law enforcement agencies.

Illumina, the largest manufacturer of DNA sequencers, has just introduced a forensics product that can be used to predict some traits as well as to perform conventional DNA profiling.

The state of the art in forensics marches steadily ahead. Soon, leaving a hair at the scene of a crime will allow law enforcement to grow an entire spoor-twin of you — with memories intact — who will confess your crime.