New technology shows mother-daughter similarities

A new technology shows us just how much we are REALLY like our moms.

Mothers and daughters share a lot of bonds, including half of their genetics.

A local doctor is now using those connections to study how our faces change over time.

Growing up, Robin Heckler didn't think she looked like her mother Arlene - neither did anyone else.

Robin explains, "I was told I looked like my father, acted like my father, played sports like my father."

However, in recent years the similarities to her mother have grown.

They didn't know how much they had in common until they joined a study by Dr. Allan Wulc. He's using mothers, daughters, and even granddaughters, to study how women's faces change over time.

Dr. Wulc says, "It increases my understanding of what's actually going on."

Each woman is photographed with a special camera, then the pictures are assembled into 3D images showing the facial contours, including some not-so-obvious ones.

Dr. Wulc scrolls through them, documenting the changes between mother and daughter.

Half our genes come from each parent, so some features are always passed along.

Between Robin and Arlene, he noticed subtle changes around the eyes.

Dr. Wulc tells us, "With time, the eyebrow in this outer corner goes up, and the eyebrow in this inner corner actually drops."

He also noticed that sagging upper eyelids aren't loose skin, but a loss of fat under that skin. And he realized that it's not gravity, but a loss in bone mass that causes some facial changes.

Robin learned she has Arlene's nose - not her dad's as they always thought.

Dr. Wulc has worked with more than a dozen mother-daughter pairs so far.

He says the pictures also show sun damage, and that inspires patients to improve their sun protection and skin care. And it's teaching him new tactics to keep patients looking younger, longer.
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