As technology becomes more sophisticated, we in the genealogy and family history world are continually bedazzled and blessed by new tools and services that become easily accessible to us. One example of this came from a set of articles I recently read that deal with using computer technology to digitally scan photographs, using those images to identify genetic disorders. As I put away the last of the articles, one word kept running through my mind. That word was “Incredible!” (note the exclamation point).
With the help of software created by Christopher Nellaker and Andrew Zisserman from the Oxford University’s Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, a doctor can now scan digital images of a person and make a preliminary diagnosis of a “possible genetic disorder.” Keep in mind that this diagnosis is not an exact diagnosis nor it is the final end all, but it serves as a jumping point for family and doctors to decide a specific course of action to follow as they begin looking for evidence of possible genetic disorders.
The software analyses 36 key physical features of the person in question and uses a vision algorithm of more than 1,300 pictures of people with about 90 genetic disorders to make a comparison. Overall, the results are about 93% accurate. This sounds quite promising.
I have provided links to a few articles below so you can read all the fascinating details. Take some time and read them. I think you will agree that it is amazing to see the realms that family history and genealogy are being taken with today’s technology.
As I read about this new technology, I wondered to myself, if Abraham Lincoln lived at a time when this technology was available and knew he had an extremely high likelihood of having Marfan syndrome and all that comes with it, what would he have done differently with his life? Would America still have had the great president we had with Abe Lincoln or would things have been different?