Examining 3-D face models of nearly 1,000 female twins, researchers have found that the shapes of the end of the nose, the area above and below the lips, cheekbones and the inner corner of the eye are highly influenced by genetics.
“The notion that our genes control our face is self-evident. Many of us have facial traits that clearly resemble those of our parents and identical twins are often indistinguishable,” said lead researcher Giovanni Montana, Professor at King’s College London.
“However, quantifying precisely which parts of the face are strongly heritable has been challenging so far,” Montana said.
By seeing which parts of the face are the most similar in shape in a pair of identical twins, the researchers then calculated the likelihood that the shape of that part of the face is determined by genetics.
“By combining 3D models of the face with a statistical algorithm that measures local changes in shape, we have been able to create detailed ‘face heritability maps’,” Montana said.
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