Posted: November 30, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,


Humans have stripes and you just can’t see them

You’ve got a tiger inside! Or maybe a zebra. At the very least a well-behaved house cat. Apparently humans are hiding stripes in our skin, they are just invisible. 

They’re called Blaschko Lines:

Blaschko Lines follow the same pattern on all people. They run down the arms and legs. They curve around the sides, like tiger stripes. On the chest and upper back they rise in a swirl before dipping down to meet in a deep “v” along the spine and the middle of the chest. They also run along the face above and below the eyes and over the ears, looking a little like painted-on glasses. These lines don’t correspond with any other system in the body. They don’t follow the lines of nerves, arteries, veins, muscles, or correspond with the endocrine system.

They are probably a remnant of how our cell growth is organized back when we are an embryo, with different “stripes” of cells growing along carefully delineated patterns. The stripes can become visible in genetic “chimeras”, people who have mixes of two genetic backgrounds in their body. Here’s some Google image results if you’re so inclined.

That “chimera” mix may sound scary, but it is just a rare occurrence of fertilization. Ever know someone with different colored skin patches or different color eyes? They’re a chimera. 

Check out more at io9.

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