25 September 2006

Medical Mystery Monday

I've put up a couple of posts about strange medical/scientific occurences and predicted that we'll see them on CSI someday (the Sheboygan cactus assault and the quadripedal Turks).

Well this time I really mean it. This is the surest bet of all: people born without fingerprints.

I am not making this up. Rare genetic mutuations in the protein keratin 14 (there are 23 different keratins) can result in the absence of fingerprints.

Start typing, screenwriters!

(hat tip 3 Quarks Daily)

1 comment:

Mark said...

Kroger spent millions to convert clock-in boxes to require fingerprints. Rather than risk having someone clock someone else in early or clock them out late, they computerized the entire operation to include biometrics (index finger prints) everytime employees clock in, out, or go on break.

As you pointed out, some people have no fingerprints but many, many more have such light prints that machines cannot read them. A few of the printless employees were able to circumvent the system entirely but everyone else has to keep plugging into it until it finally works.

I've literally made hundreds of dollars standing in front of the clock, trying to get it to take my fingerprint.