Fingerprint patterns through genetics
(1) Hopkinton High School, Hopkinton, Massachusetts
Fingerprints are unique identifiers, but it is unclear how much similarity/variation closely-related family members exhibit. This study explores the link between fingerprints and genetics by analyzing familial fingerprints to show how the fingerprints between family members, and in particular siblings, could be very similar. The left and right thumb and ring fingerprints were taken from seven related individuals (immediate family and grandparents) and were classified to see which fingerprint feature was dominant and how it was inherited through the different generations of the individuals tested. Ridge features between the three siblings out of the seven individuals were measured and analyzed. The hypothesis was that the fingerprints between siblings would be very similar and the dominant fingerprint features within the family would be the same throughout the generations. The experimental data suggested that these same common patterns were passed down, helping to support this link. Also, the fingerprints between the siblings showed a trend of similarity, with only very small differences which makes these fingerprints unique. This work helps to support this fascinating link between fingerprints and genetics while providing a modern technological application.
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