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Scientists have identified genes that drive the shape of human noses, an advance that can help understand how our faces evolved and aid forensic DNA technologies.
The genes mainly affect the width and pointiness of noses which vary greatly between different populations, said researchers from University College London (UCL).
Researchers identified five genes which play a role in controlling the shape of specific facial features. DCHS2, RUNX2, GLI3 and PAX1 affect the width and pointiness of the nose and another gene – EDAR – affects chin protrusion.
People have different shaped facial features based on their genetic heritage and this is partly due to how the environment influenced the evolution of the human genome.
The nose, for example, is important for regulating the temperature and humidity of the air we breathe in so developed different shapes in warmer and cooler climates, researchers said.
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