now incorporating the Sudbury Hill and Wood End Times

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Science for the Confused - an occasional series

No.2: DNA and Fingerprints

It pains me even to mention how I gouged the top of my thumb on a protruding part of a door latch recently, but I have since observed that the ripped patch has grown back with the same pattern of fingerprints matching exactly the adjoining whorls and ridges. Even identical twins have different fingerprints, though they share the same DNA [Insert plausible looking reference here. Ed]. If DNA determined fingerprints, identical twins would have identical fingerprints. But if not DNA then what is it that determines the pattern of fingerprints and causes them to be recreated exactly the same when damaged? ["From scratch"? Ed.] Perhaps the DNA of identical twins is not identical after all. To determine which of a pair of identical twins committed a crime [Insert reference to "Dark Mirror" here. Ed] it would be necessary to adduce not only DNA but fingerprints. [Mention Iris Patterns here. Ed] [I am not familiar with her. Or did you mean "Irish patterns"? Kronk]

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Professor Kronk

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