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.
Henrietta Lacks was born on August 1st 1920, the ninth child in a poor black family of tobacco farmers in Virginia, USA. At the age of 30, Henrietta developed extremely aggressive cervical cancer. During her treatment she unknowingly donated her cancer cells, which are still growing to this day in laboratories worldwide. Henrietta never knew, … More
Magpies like to steal shiny, metallic objects to make their nests, right? That’s how the age-old story goes. Rossini even penned an opera on the subject. The birds, part of the crow family, are often celebrated for their intelligence. Magpies are capable of storing food over winter and remembering its location, even remembering which other … More
Here’s a simple idea: You have three pigeons and only two pigeonholes. If you put the pigeons in the pigeonholes you’ll end up with at least one hole that contains two pigeons. Right? Now let’s consider quantum particles. What if you have three quantum particles and two boxes and you try the same thing? Well, … More
Apps like Lumosity, Memory Trainer or Brainmetrix all promise to provide more or less the same things: scientifically designed games which lead to better memory, increased intelligence, attention span and problem solving abilities, as well as prevention of neurodegenerative illnesses. Such websites are filled with testimonies of satisfied customers and confident researchers, but the average … More