A Genetic problem: 12 fingers

  1. Just to ask professional researchers a question,
    Normally, human beings are born to have ten fingers, but I noticed long ago some friends of mine in my hometown have twelve whereas their parents are normally with ten only. This I assume is a genetic problem which the bad gene (6 fingers on one hand) from a parent gets combined with another from the other parent. So how can we conclude such a case is not a harmless mutation ? Even though with twelve fingers, still they can lead normal lives anyway. I think it is a harmless mutation if that poeple can call mutation instead of genetic inheritance.

    Thamnk you
  2. jcsd
  3. Monique

    Monique 4,445
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The condition of having extra digits is called polydactyly. I am not sure what you mean with your last comment, you mean a spontaneous mutation vs an inherited mutation? Or a single mutation vs genetic disease?

    Familial polydactyly occurs as a dominantly inherited trait, meaning that one of the parents will also have extra digits, in most cases this does not indicate a genetic disease: you only have an extra finger.

    There are cases were polydactyly is associated with other genetic disorders or syndroms, where other symptoms or abnormalities are present.
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