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12 December 2013 1:00 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
The iconic 125-year-old Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton near San Jose, California, is facing the threat of closure...
Recent results from the Curiosity Mars rover have helped scientists formulate a plan for the next phase of its mission...
A new, remarkably powerful drug that cripples the hepatitis C virus (HCV) came to market last week, but it sells for $...
In pretoothbrush populations, gumlines would often be marred by a thick, visible crust of calcium phosphate, food...
Evolutionary biologists have long studied how the Mexican tetra, a drab fish that lives in rivers and creeks but has...
Victorian astronomers spent countless hours laboriously charting the positions of stars in the sky. Such sky mapping,...
In an ambitious project to study 1000 years of sickness and health, researchers are excavating the graveyard of the now...
Stefan Behnisch has won awards for designing science labs and other buildings that are smart, sustainable, and...
- 12 December 2013 1:00 pm , Vol. 342 , #6164
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ScienceShot: Strong Jaws, Tiny Index Fingers
14 February 2012 7:02 pm
Kirk Douglas may have nabbed man's-man roles in Spartacus and other films by virtue of his jutting jaw. But casting directors seem to have missed one of the actor's manlier traits: a stubby index finger. Scientists have known that men boasting traditionally more masculine mandibles—think Douglas's iconic cleft chin—also tend to have short pointer fingers relative to their ring fingers. But no one knew if the trend held true for kids not yet through puberty. To find out, researchers photographed 17 boys between 4 and 11 years old. And, sure enough, those with more petite trigger fingers also bore bigger, rounder chins (at right). They also had smaller foreheads and thicker eyebrows, the group reports online in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. High levels of in utero testosterone may help to shape both the digit mismatch and the lads' faces, pointing the importance of the hormone even early in life. Call it the Spartacus, Jr. effect.
See more ScienceShots.