As humans we could have had any number of fingers and toes, but somehow we ended up with 10 of each. What's so special about 10?
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A mathematical theory proposed by Alan Turing in 1952 can explain the formation of fingers
"Researchers have shown that BMP and WNT proteins are the so-called 'Turing molecules' for creating embryonic fingers. Findings explain why polydactyly -- the development of extra fingers or toes -- is relatively common in humans, affecting up to one in 500 births, and confirms a fundamental theory first proposed by the founding father of computer science, Alan Turing, back in 1952."
How Did You Get Five Fingers?
"Your arms and toes began as tiny buds that sprouted from your sides when you were just a four-week-old embryo. By six weeks, these limb buds had grown longer and five rods of cartilage had appeared in their flattened tips. By week seven, the cells between the rods had died away, sculpting five small fingers or toes from once-solid masses of flesh."
Human Hands More Primitive than Chimp Hands
"Given our inherent human-centric viewpoint, we tend to think that our species is more advanced in all respects than other animals, but new research finds that human hands are more primitive than those of our closest primate ancestors: chimpanzees."
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