A fingerprint characteristic associated with the early prenatal environment

Division of Diabetes Translation, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30341, USA.
American Journal of Human Biology (Impact Factor: 1.93). 01/2008; 20(1):59-65. DOI: 10.1002/ajhb.20672
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Fingerprints and fingertip ridge counts (RCs) have a significant genetic component. However, they also reflect the nongenetic environment of early pregnancy, an important time window for tissue differentiation and organogenesis. Fingerprints are permanently configured before the 20th week of gestation, and each fingertip's RC is related to the growth and regression of its early fetal volar pads. Rostral and caudal aspects of the embryonic limb bud have different relations to somite segments and to morphogen-activator functions. We hypothesized, therefore, that early fetal circumstances would be associated with a contrast in RCs between the thumb (digit 1) and little finger (digit 5). We obtained RCs from the fingerprints of a sample of 658 Dutch adults identified through prenatal and delivery records of Dutch urban births occurring during 1943-1947, an historical era that included months of wartime disruption with a winter famine. We calculated the mean of left- and right-hand RC differences between digits 1 and 5 (Md15). The Md15 fluctuated in relation to the calendar season of the mother's last menstrual period, but only if the gestation occurred outside of the wartime disruption interval. If the gestation occurred during the disruption interval, the Md15 seasonal fluctuation was not evident. This finding suggests that parental environmental factors may influence the fingerprints of the offspring. Fingerprint RC differences observed in postnatal life may be useful in the study of metabolic or anatomic programming related to the early prenatal environment.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Popular media reports concerning the causes of the current global obesity pandemic and its related sequelae – the cardiometabolic syndrome – are often couched in terms of dramatic changes in diet and lifestyle around the world; namely, drastically increasing dietary intakes of high energy foods and plummeting levels of daily physical activity – the hallmarks of the so called ‘nutrition transition’. Far less attention is generally drawn to the important role phenotypic plasticity during early life (i.e., ‘developmental programming’) plays in the cardiometabolic health crisis. Recently, however, researchers working within the field of the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) and epigenetics have extended our understanding of the role played by these developmental processes and capacities in health and disease even further by investigating the transmissible nature of developmentally-programmed cardiometabolic traits to subsequent generations. In this review, after briefly revisiting the fundamental discoveries of first-generation DOHaD research, I consider how recent discoveries regarding the transmissibility of developmentally acquired traits are providing new insights into the current global cardiometabolic pandemic, and how a better understanding of developmental programming – including transmissibility – are essential for the conceptualization and implementation of public health initiatives aimed at stemming this global health crisis.
    Yearbook of physical anthropology 10/2013; 152. DOI:10.1002/ajpa22393 · 1.39 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Uniqueness being unprovable, it has recently been argued that individualization in forensic science is irrelevant and, probability, as applied for DNA profiles, should be applied for all identifications. Critiques against uniqueness have omitted physical matching, a realistic and tangible individualization that supports uniqueness. Describing case examples illustrating pattern matches including physical matching, it is indicated that individualizations are practically relevant for forensic science as they establish facts on a definitive basis providing firm leads benefitting criminal investigation. As a tenet of forensic identification, uniqueness forms a fundamental paradigm relevant for individualization. Evidence on the indeterministic and stochastic causal pathways of characteristics in patterns available in the related fields of science sufficiently supports the proposition of uniqueness. Characteristics involved in physical matching and matching achieved in patterned evidence existing in the state of nature are not events amenable for counting; instead these are ensemble of visible units occupying the entire pattern area stretching the probability of re-occurrence of a verisimilitude pattern into infinity offering epistemic support to uniqueness. Observational methods are as respectable as instrumental or statistical methods since they are capable of generating results that are tangible and obviously valid as in physical matching. Applying the probabilistic interpretation used for DNA profiles to the other patterns would be unbefitting since these two are disparate, the causal pathways of the events, the loci, in the manipulated DNA profiles being determinable. While uniqueness enables individualizations, it does not vouch for eliminating errors. Instead of dismissing uniqueness and individualization, accepting errors as human or system failures and seeking remedial measures would benefit forensic science practice and criminal investigation.
    Forensic science international 07/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.forsciint.2013.05.028 · 2.12 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this paper is to review the scientific literature from August 2007 to July 2010. The review is focused on more than 420 published papers. The review will not cover information coming from international meetings available only in abstract form.
    16 th Interpol Forensic Science Symposium, Lyon (France); 10/2010