After sequencing the DNA of one of only four known families in the world to have a rare medical condition called adermatoglyphia, which leaves them without fingerprints, Eli Sprecher and his colleagues at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center identified the genetic mutation that causes the condition. According to research the group published in the American Journal of Human Genetics, nine out of 16 members of the family lacked fingerprints and all had mutations of a gene called SMARCAD1, which in its smaller form is only expressed in skin. Those nine individuals are also career criminals. Just kidding. From National Geographic:
The condition is also called immigration-delay disease, since a lack of fingerprints makes it difficult for people to cross international borders...
Other inherited diseases that result in a lack of fingerprints—such as Naegeli syndrome and dermatopathia pigmentosa reticularis—are caused by problems with the protein keratin-14.
These conditions "manifest not only with lack of fingerprints, but also with a number of other critical features—a thickening of the skin, problems with nail formation," Sprecher said.
By contrast, immigration-delay disease doesn't come with any side effects besides a minor reduction in the ability to sweat. In general, people with the disease "are otherwise completely healthy, like you and me."
"Mutated DNA Causes No-Fingerprint Disease
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
CEO Dick Costolo will resign, to be replaced in the interim by Jack Dorsey
The Lytro Illum dares to be different, boasting even more robust features than its first generation predecessor and a sleek design reminiscent of professional DSLRs. What’s so cool about it? Most cameras capture the position of light rays, producing a statoc 2D image.
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