Research

What is the human body capable of?

Would you like to have six fingers instead of five? In an exciting study recently published in the journal Nature Communications, researchers decided to study the abilities of people with extra fingers. This condition, known as polydactyly, affects approximately two out of every 1,000 newborns. But, since it is believed that extra fingers are not needed and will not function, they are usually removed. However, this is not always the case: some people with polydacty decide to leave extra fingers. So, scientists studied the mother and son, who live with the sixth fingers of their left hands. As a result, scientists made a series of discoveries about its function. According to the results of the study, changes in the human body should not be neglected.

It looks like an x-ray of a hand with six fingers

A man with six fingers?

So, studying the sixth fingers of mother and son, firstscientists revealed anatomical features: it turned out that both the mother and son had the sixth finger had their own muscles, nerves and tendons. Its comparable strength and independence of movement was on par with other fingers.

How can the sixth finger become functional? When your brain grows and develops, it builds a “map” of your body. You cannot feel or move parts of your body that are not represented on this map. The discovery of the fact that mother and son can move their sixth finger prompted researchers to think about how their brain “sees” the sixth finger.

Scientists have found that each of the six fingerssubjects was represented by individual sections of the motor cortex. Finally, using a carefully thought-out video game, the researchers showed that their six-pointed subjects can perform tasks with one hand. It is also surprising that we, ordinary five-fingered creatures, will need both hands to solve such problems. Combining all the data obtained, scientists came to the conclusion that additional limbs develop the brain.

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Remember the Indian carpenter from the Guinness Book of Records? He has 14 fingers on his arms and legs. One can only guess how amazing his brain is.

This is how the hands of an Indian carpenter look. On his legs and arms, 14 fingers

Why is mutation good?

Although this study is limited to dataonly two subjects, its consequences, however, far-reaching. The vivid demonstration that the sixth finger increases the functionality of the hands is a convincing argument in favor of the ability of the human brain to control machines more complex than the human body.

The study of polydactyl brushes and the brain,which controls them is a test case for the benefits of this unusual study. Scientists are making great efforts to control and standardize: for example, the effectiveness of a particular drug can be determined in almost identical laboratory mice.

Laboratory mice are still favorite experimental subjects in science labs around the world.

But there are those few who pursue the exoticand unique animals: heat-seeking vipers adapted to the cold of octopuses or, as in this case, people with extra fingers. It turns out that dreams of additional limbs may not be so terrible, and the human body and our brain are capable of much. It turns out like this.