Apr 13, 2011

Fetal Fingerprints (Continued)

Benito el Jefe, one of my awesome commenters posed an interesting question on my original Fetal Fingerprints post. The question was:

“To find out when they develop, did researchers have to look at miscarriages for signs of fingerprint development? How could they determine that otherwise, without possibly harming the child?”

I looked through the articles that were referenced and sure enough one of them mentions how they obtained the information. And Benito was actually spot on.  In the study they investigate 24 aborted or miscarriage human fetuses at different stages of development and they categorize how their fingerprints develop.  These technical name for these fetuses is abortuses.   

This type of study is under a field called Fetal Dermatoglyphics that basically studies how skin develops on fetuses. 

Thanks a lot for the question Benito and everyone keep them coming!

Source: Katznelson, Goldman. Fetal Dermatoglyphics.   


  1. Oh, wow. That's really interesting. I'm surprised there's not more hubbub over medical/industrial research done on "abortuses." Or maybe there is and I just don't know about it.

  2. That's really interesting, and a bit reassuring. I'm glad they don't poke around at perfectly healthy fetuses! Although, there may be some safe way to do it with fiber optic cameras. Maybe some researchers do use these camera to study fetuses... Maybe not... I'm just throwing the idea out there.

    Thanks for looking into it for me, Carlos!

  3. No Problem Benito! Thanks for the constructive comments.