Scientists have determine ‘beauty spots’ in human genome that they claim are linked to facial beauty. They study has been carried out by Qiongshi Lu and colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and findings have been published in PLOS Genetics.
For centuries humans have been known to devote a lot of time to look beautiful with a chunk of that time being devoted to facial beauty. While a person’s attractiveness is associated with academic performance, career success and economic mobility, having a beautiful face is still important for humans. Scientists haven’t been able to find out how a person derives their facial beauty and if there are genetic links.
In their latest study researchers performed a genome-wide association study using genetic information from 4,383 individuals to pinpoint parts of the genome linked to facial beauty. They had volunteers score yearbook photos based on attractiveness from participants with European ancestry and compared the scores to each person’s genetic information. The researchers identified several genes related to facial attractiveness, but their roles and relatedness to other human traits varied by sex. In women, certain genetic variations linked to beauty also appeared to be related to genes impacting body mass, while in males, variants were linked to genes affecting blood cholesterol levels.
The study provides new insights into the genetic factors underlying facial attractiveness and highlights the complex relationships between beauty and other human traits. “Similar to many other human traits, there is not a ‘master gene’ that determines a person’s attractiveness,” author Qiongshi Lu observed.
The researchers acknowledge, however, that their findings are based on a homogenous group of individuals of the same age and ethnic background. They propose that future analyses including a larger sample size of people from diverse populations and ages will further advance our understanding of this highly valued human trait.