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September 16, 2014

Scanning Family Photos to Reveal Genetic Disorders

There's an interesting article on Newsweek called Scanning Family Photos Can Reveal Rare Genetic Disorders

Scanning Family Photos to Reveal Genetic Disorders
Software for Scanning Faces for Genetic Disorders
According to the article, research led by Dr. Nellaker and Prof. Zisserman at the University of Oxford has have developed software that can detect the risk for genetic disorders in children, such as Down and Treacher Collins syndromes, just by scanning old photographs of their family members.

30 to 40 percent of genetic disorders involve detectable abnormalities in the cranium and face. The Oxford project, called Clinical Face Phenotype Space scans family photos and cross-references them with a database built from images of people with known genetic disorders. 

The algorithms and other details are explained in the Newsweek article. It's an intriguing concept and  I'll be watching this project to see what new developments, if any, occur.

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