A bodies genetic material provides the blueprint for your appearance. Your predisposition to be tall, freckled, blue eyed and blonde are encoded from birth.

However, external and environmental factors can influence the manner these instructions are carried out. For example malnutrition during childhood will affect bone and tooth growth. A lack of oxygen can lead to cerebral palsy with dramatic affects on the bodies muscle development (amongst other things).

Does your current genetic material indicate how you physically appear in real life and not just the genetic markers or 'potential'?

eg : If a scientist had a bloodsample taken today, I know they could say that the subject has obesity markers but could they actually say how fat the person was. Could they determine the difference between what the markers say and what the subject actually appears like?

Is current research limited but indicating that this might be possible in the future?

  • $\begingroup$ Is the wealth of information about how many cells, and what each of those cells are doing encoded within every other cell, or more generously--a blood sample? Probably not. On average you'd probably be able to determine a lot of characteristics somewhat accurately. In 2016, I'm neutral on the likelihood. In 2 or 3 decades, maybe we'll figure out some more bio that unlocks what you're asking. $\endgroup$
    – weezilla
    Oct 12, 2016 at 17:46
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ A blood sample can tell you a lot about a person's level of obesity, but not necessarily from reading the DNA sequence, although that may help in some limited circumstances. Blood levels of HDL and LDL cholesterol can be measured, as can concentrations of glucose, insulin, and other indicators of diabetes, which is often related to weight and body mass index (BMI). However, I could not take a sample (or several samples over a timecourse) of blood from you and determine that you're 175 cm tall and weigh 95 kg. $\endgroup$
    – MattDMo
    Oct 12, 2016 at 18:11


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