capebm0713
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Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:55 pm
Occupation: Teacher

Fingerprint experiment

Postby capebm0713 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:04 pm

Hello,

I have a student in class that would like to conduct his experiment on whether fingerprints are genetic in some way. For example, do patterns run in families? Our group is discouraging the use of humans in experiments, however, we thought this might be acceptable since the indiviual's fingerprints are constant and do not change. What I am not understanding however, is whether or not there is a variable to change. Can you help? Would this topic work as an true experiment or is it merely a demonstration? Thanks so much! Cheryl

SciB
Expert
Posts: 1817
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:00 am
Occupation: Retired molecular biologist, university researcher and teacher

Re: Fingerprint experiment

Postby SciB » Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:39 pm

Hi Cheryl,

The fingerprint project is really interesting and, yes, it qualifies as an experimental project with selection of individuals for fingerprinting as the independent variable and the fingerprint patterns as the dependent. Your hypothesis could be:

Genetically related individuals show greater similarity in fingerprints than unrelated individuals.

One thing I am unsure of is the minimum number of people you need to get fingerprints from. The more subjects you have the better, but I realize you can only get a limited number of volunteers. I've never done this project so I don't know how much or little similarity to expect in familial fingerprints. Why don't you just give it a try and see. There are sites online that discuss this kind of inherited similarity. Here's one example: https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... rints-sim/

Sybee


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