Researchers believe they have found a link between the relative lengths of your index and ring fingers and a predisposition to the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The disease is believed to be influenced by prenatal factors, although the precise aetiology is unknown. The relative lengths of your index and ring fingers (the 2D:4D ratio) indicate your level of exposure to prenatal testosterone. Hypothesising that high prenatal testosterone levels could be a factor in the development of ALS, the researchers tested this by examining the 2D:4D ratio of patients and their findings appear to support their theory. A quick internet search revealed that there are over 20 research papers published in 2011 so far on the 2D:4D ratio as an indication of various medical and psychological conditions. There are also sites which link the ratio to a number of less scientific theories such as ability in exams. So how reliable are these results, and can your fingers really indicate anything other than how long your fingers are? The GIST podcasters tackle this topic in their latest offering of GIST-y goodness.Discuss
Two Fingers for Science?
Two Fingers for Science? by Felicity Carlysle is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
There is a killer out there, and its name is Chytrid… Well, actually it is Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). The spores of this aquatic fungus get under the skin, causing it to ulcerate and slough off abnormally, and it won’t be long before the eyes, muscles and skin start haemorrhaging. Pathogenic bacteria will soon colonise these … More
Scientists are rubbish at communicating their research outside of academia; at least that is the opinion I took in an article I wrote for theGIST’s Science for Society conference article competition. But others must have also agreed, because it was voted overall winner on the day. However, the good news for scientists is that there … More
Mammalians have around 25,000 genes, but only 62% of the human genome is transcribed in one or more cell types . Considering this, it’s possible to understand that the performance of a cell is not only determined by its gene set, but rather by which genes are active, which is highly variable among cells. All … More
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, the University of Cologne and Cornell University, have recently discovered a molecule with an important structure. By analysing light from space using spectroscopy with a radio telescope array, isopropyl cyanide was identified within the star forming region Sagittarius B2. With a similar structure of carbons as … More