Investigators increasingly are able to determine the physical characteristics of crime suspects from the DNA they leave behind, providing what could become a powerful tool for law enforcement.
But forensic DNA phenotyping also is raising concerns.
Some scientists question the accuracy of the technology — especially its ability to recreate facial images. And others say use of the techniques could exacerbate racial profiling among law enforcement agencies and infringe on privacy.
“This is another of these areas where the technology is ahead of the popular debate and discussion,” says Erin Murphy, a law professor at New York University.