SciLifeLab The Svedberg seminar series 2013-12-09
Department of Forensic Molecular Biology, Erasmus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Manfred Kayser is Professor and Chair of Forensic Molecular Biology at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Here he investigates various aspects of human biology and genetics that potentially provide solutions to currently unsolvable questions in forensics. Research areas besides unveiling the genetic basis of human appearance and developing predictive markers and tools are in using DNA to infer bio-geographic ancestry of a person, developing biomarkers and tools for forensic cellular origin determination, using circadian biomarkers for forensic time estimations and developing DNA markers for male identification in special forensic cases such as sexual assault.
“Genetics and DNA prediction of human appearance traits”
Finding out which genes decode for human appearance traits is of general anthropological and genetic interest, can provide evolutionary hints on human adaptation, and may allow better understanding diseases with appearance manifestation. Furthermore, DNA-based appearance prediction is expected to improve forensic investigations by allowing concentrating police searches for unknown sample donors who cannot be identified via conventional DNA profiling. However, currently we know more about the genetic basis of many human diseases than we know about the genetics of our appearance. For pigmentation traits it has been demonstrated already that current genetic knowledge allows reliable and relatively accurate phenotype prediction from genotypes practically useful for forensic use. For all other appearance traits genetic understanding is still in its infancy and thus DNA prediction is yet impossible. This lecture will summarize current knowledge on the genetic determination and DNA prediction of our most obvious traits, namely appearance.
Host: Marie Allen