MadSci Network: Genetics

Re: How many genes are required to make up a fingerprint?

Date: Tue Jul 25 15:14:24 2000
Posted By: Joshua McElwee, Grad student, Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Washington-Seattle
Area of science: Genetics
ID: 963284682.Ge

  Tons of genes!  Fingerprints, as you know, are very complex and require a 
whole bunch of genes to create them.  There are several genes that are 
involved in creating the pattern of the fingerprint.  But, you have to 
realize that other biological processes are important for creating 
fingerprints as well.  You need to make this skin and muscle that underlie 
your fingertips, blood vessels to nourish the skin, etc.  So really, it 
takes hundreds, possibly thousands of genes to actually make the fingerprint 
on the tip of your fingers.

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