BHU scientist key figure in study pointing towards fingerprint patterns in humans being determined by limb development genes


Varanasi: A landmark study by a group of international team of researchers has found that fingerprint patterns in humans are determined by organ development genes. The study was conducted by a team of international scientists which included people from Shanghai, Australia, UK, USA and India.

Chander Shekhar, assistant public relations officer of Banaras Hindu University (BHU), said in a tweet, “The study has been published in one of the top international research journals in science and Dr Chandana from BHU was the only Indian scientist. in groups.

Fingerprints are known to be unique to an individual, but they can generally be classified into three types – arch, loop, and whorl. To understand the genes responsible for fingerprint patterning, the team studied the DNA of more than 23,000 individuals from different ethnic groups and identified 43 genetic loci that contribute to fingerprint patterning.

Interestingly, they found that most of these genetic loci are from genes involved in organ development pathways, rather than genes related to skin development. One of the topmost genes identified was EVI1, which is known for its role in the development of embryonic organs. When the team tested further using a mouse model of EVI1, they found that genetically modified mice with decreased expression of EVI1 developed abnormal skin patterns on their digits compared to wild-type normal mice.

In addition, the study also revealed the relationship of fingerprint patterns with hand proportions. For example, people who have swirl-shaped fingerprints on both short fingers have longer short fingers than those who do not. It is one of the most comprehensive studies on the genetics of fingerprint patterns and such studies help us to better understand existing human phenotypes or how we differ from each other.

Dr. Chandana says, “Mice do not have fingerprints, but it was interesting to develop a method of scoring ridges (the analogue of fingerprints). When we compared these ridge patterns between a modified EVI1 and a normal mouse , so we got the same result as in humans.

This is the single most comprehensive study on the genetics of fingerprint patterns.

Vice Chancellor Prof. Sudhir K. Jain said, “I am delighted that our young colleague Dr. Chandana from the Center of Genetic Disorders has published some very high quality research work in SAIL, one of the most renowned journals in science. This study may be a starting point for the identification of congenital disorders and the use of dermatoglyphics and related genetics in public health. BHU is already at the forefront of human genetics research and I am very hopeful that we will get many more such contributions from BHU researchers in the years to come.

Center for Genetic Disorders Coordinator Prof. Parimal Das said, “This kind of comprehensive study which includes population genetics, mice model, cell biology, protein network is a powerful approach to unravel the biology of complex traits and is the need of the hour.”

Pro. Anil Kumar Tripathi, Director, Institute of Science said, “The genetic association of fingerprints with the development of organs is a new dimension of developmental biology that can have important social implications. Dr. Chandana’s participation in this study reflects her enthusiasm for investigating the mysteries of nature.

First Published:January 12, 2022, 8:21 pm

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