People Without Fingerprints? Israeli Researchers Explain
Created: 2011-10-11 07:52 EST
In the dermatology department at Tel Aviv's Sourasky Medical Center, a team of researchers has discovered the gene responsible for fingerprints. And with it, the reason why some people simply don't have any.
[Prof. Eli Sprecher, Director, Department of Dermatology]:
"Fingerprints are those very special marks that I guess most of us know but actually very special marks which are formed very early during embryogenesis and what is very special about those marks is that they are really unique to every individual."
But not everyone has fingerprints. The reason is a defective gene.
[Dr. Janna Nousbeck, Researcher]:
"First we investigated the region that segregated with the disease and then found the mutation in one of the candidate genes and the candidate gene was 'Smarcad1'."
According to researchers, fewer than 20 people worldwide don't have fingerprints. So why all the research into such a rare phenomenon?
[Prof. Eli Sprecher, Department of Dermatology]:
"The study of these diseases is always revealing something very important in terms of the function of this protein because we just see in front of our eyes what are the consequences of the lack or dysfunction of this specific protein so that through the study of rare diseases we are, each time, learning a very important piece of information about the biology of all us."
Researchers add that studying this gene could lead to a broader understanding of the biology of the human body.
[Dr. Janna Nousbeck , Researcher] :
"The gene "Smarcad1" is now correlated to development of fingerprints and then we can research this gene in the field of dermatology and to find other functions and other evolvement of this gene.
Reporter:Israela Yablonka Photographer:Michael Ash
NTD News, Israel