• Question: is there a reason that 6 fingers is genetic

    Asked by JDEvans2005 to Remsha, Oliver, Lisa, Kieran, Fiana on 15 Nov 2018.
    • Photo: Fiana

      Fiana answered on 15 Nov 2018:

      That’s a great question! Polydactyly is he name given to when a person is born with extra fingers or toes. This often occurs randomly and is not genetic at all. But sometimes it can be the result of genetics. The reason it occurs is that the message is not send correctly from the genes to form the fingers and toes when the baby is developing.

    • Photo: Remsha Afzal

      Remsha Afzal answered on 15 Nov 2018:

      Hi JD! So there seem to be a lot of ways to end up with the wrong number of fingers! Makes sense though if you think about how complicated it is to develop a hand!
      Think about the steps involved in making a hand. First there needs to be a decision on what side of the hand will be the palm or back of hand. Then it needs to be decided where the thumb goes, and where your little finger goes. And finally, you also need to make the rest of your fingers from the remainder of the hand. (Not to mention all of the other steps I’ve left out!)
      Different genes are needed for each of these steps. In fact MANY genes are needed for most of these steps. Plus the genes involved in making sure you don’t make a hand where you are trying to make a foot! If there are so many genes at work, it makes sense that sometimes things go a bit wrong and a change to any of these genes can lead to extra fingers.