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.
Evolution has undeniably given us many gifts with which to conquer the world – legs fit for running away from danger, opposable thumbs for making and using tools, eyes to perceive our environments and clever brains to make sense of those perceived images – and it’s been a lengthy process in each case. Think about … More
It is a poignant moment in Jurassic Park, isn’t it? Everyone gathered round the dining table hotly debating the ethics of a theme park filled with resurrected dinosaurs, when Jeff Goldblum‘s character, Dr Ian Malcolm, utters the reason ethics is so important in modern research: “… your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not … More
Thanks to everyone who helped put this together – we are immensely proud to present to you: theGIST Issue 3.