Within my previous post I learnt how DNA can be analysed to form digital representations of what a person looks like. I found this fascinating as it was amazing to me how just one cell had so much information in it, that we could tell what someone looked like just from that. Wanting to know more about how this worked, I decided to research into the process SNP’s further, in order to better understand the method behind the amazement.



what did I learn

From the research the main thing I learnt was that SNP isn’t the technique for analysing genes, as I had been lead to believe earlier, but is the name for mutated genes which give us our originality. Therefore I still need to discover what the process is called that discoverd human traits in DNA and how it works, to help me better understand our differences in genes and visual representing us from our genes.

DNA Predicts Faces

The article below discussed the uses of SNP analysing/ DNA representation, as well as explained in more detail how the process worked and what is more effective at determining.

Refer to Research Folder

121215_facers_creeper 121215_faces_red-chart_free

What did I Learn
  • Some traits are harder than others to distinguish due to the amount of genes that define that feature – Height and face shape = difficult
  • Some eye colours are harder to determine than others – Accurately determine blue and brown eyes, but green is harder
  • Environmental factors pay a role in the appearance of someone – Some are effected more than others – weight
  • HIrisPlex is a technology used to analyse he genes and find the colour of someone’s hair and eyes.


Points of INterest

From the text I found it interesting in bringing up mainly questions such as:

  • Could you be able to see who lived in your house before you?
  • Would you want to see how your further child will look? – What if you miscarried, would this make it harder?
  • Would people want to see images of ancestors (great great great…. grandparents etc)
  • Will they ever be able to fully show an accurate image of the person’s face? – What about environmental impacts could they determine these too?
  • If its possible to work out exactly what someone looks like, have we cracked the code for nature?
  • In the future could we alter our own genes and grow differently because of this?

I feel some of these questions could spark the start of a narrative, which could influence the design of a game. Therefore I could take these ideas forward if I decided to pick the theme of DNA at the end of this research phase and produce a story from these to evolve a game.


DNA Identikit – Thesis

This research explained in more scientific depth how the SNPs are analysed and what issues there are when trying to determine the shape and size of certain features.

Refer to Research Folder


What did I learn?

Unfortunately I didn’t learn anything much different from this research that I hadn’t learnt previously, because the thesis discussed similar subject matters as before. However I did learn more specific information about the number of genes responsible for the height trait, with it being 10,000 which is the reason it is so difficult to determine accurately, as there are so many genes to analyse when compared to eyes which is just 6 genes. Teaching me that the number of genes is important when determining how tricky a feature is to accurately determine.

Points of Interest

I think simply the large variation in the amount of genes for each feature is fascinating, because it shows that genes have different importance depending on the feature they are determining. Therefore it forms this hierarchy of genes in my head, which could be an interesting narrative concept or game mechanic to utilise.



  • Reflect on this part of my project and move onto the 3rd research area as time is ticking and the presentation of our 4 research points is soon.