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Subject: [DNA] Final post -- Specialists feedback on feet shapes....
Date: Sat, 18 Oct 2003 16:50:21 EDT


I got a response and for those of you who WERE interested, I wanted to pass
on the physical anthropologist's information.

Thanks for your note about feet. There are actually
a number of articles about relative toe length that
aren't very technical. Anthropologists have compared
the toes of various populations to one another for
years. In fact, that sort of work is still going on....
There are a number of articles from the
early and middle parts of the twentieth century, in
the American Journal of Physical Anthropology and
Current Anthropology that deal with toe length, also.

I suspect that having the second toe the longest is a
simple genetic trait, like the short index finger
gene. However, I don't know that anyone has really
bothered to look into it properly. Also, in my
research during the past two or three years, I've
found over 700 genes which affect foot shape. So,
the situation is bound to be pretty complex overall.
Nevertheless, some of the traits involving foot shape
are probably fairly simple to understand. One
example is brachydactyly, or having short fingers and
toes. This is a dominant version of a digit growth
gene and its inheritance pattern is well-known.

Well-known to him perhaps. And he didn't say whether any of the 700 genes
come in "packages" (i.e., associated with each other). Probably the most
interesting comment to me was the "I don't know that anyone has really bothered to
look into it properly." The most distressing might be that short fingers and
toes is dominant -- it suggests a picture of future feet that isn't pretty <
Wink>

And now, not to bore the rest of you, I bid this thread goodbye.

Anne


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