A DNA test for eye colour

Police with no leads can now predict the eye colour of their suspect from DNA recovered at the crime scene. It’s the first time such a tool has been available.

Scientists have developed IrisPlex, which can predict with 94 per cent accuracy whether a person has blue or brown eyes from a sample of DNA.

It is the first validated tool to help police home in on a possible suspect by predicting a visible trait. This could be useful in cases where police have DNA from a crime scene, but can’t find a match on a DNA database. It is not accurate enough to secure convictions in court, however.

IrisPlex examines six single-letter variations in DNA, known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which have been strongly linked to eye colour, and categorises them as blue, brown or “undefined” – an intermediate colour such as green, grey, or a mix of colours. Learn more here.

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