The Mysteries of God and His Creation

Cuban ship disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle 90 years ago and surfaced suddenly


JUNE 17TH 2015...

Havana-Iraq Press -17 June: the effects of the emergence of a ship without a crew in the waters of the Caribbean, in the month of May, a wave of new questions about the secret of ships and aircraft disappeared when passing triangle of Bermuda, especially since this ship "SS Cotopaxi", disappeared in Water Triangle in December 1925.

According to Cuban authorities, she found this ship in 16 Oaaralamadi, when suddenly appeared in the restricted area of navigation, to the west of Havana. All signs indicated that this is the ship "SS Cotopaxi", which itself disappeared in mysterious circumstances in 1925. It has been found for the captain of the ship is full of detail daily diary book before the disappearance of the ship, but blogging did not give any information about what happened to the ship 90 years ago.  It is noteworthy that the ship "SS Cotopaxi" left the port of Charleston in South Carolina to go to Havana in November 29 1925, two days after departure from the ship disappeared, never heard about Shi for almost a century.

 Cuban authorities announced that would investigate the subject and try to unravel the mystery surrounding the disappearance and the emergence of the ship in Bermda.anthy triangle (1)

| 15 July 2014

Knowing that God made the Sun for a reason at the center of our universe as we know it, and considering it's the biggest planet and I mean huge it's 875,000 miles across, though scientists usually use kilometers, in which case it is 1,392,000 kilometers across. Compared to the Earth at the equator the diameter of Earth is 12,756 km. In other words, if you dug a tunnel on the equator that went straight down and went right through the center of the Earth, it would be about 12,756 km long. So you can see how massive the sun is compared to the earth. Now when you watch this video, how many kilometers or miles into the atmosphere do you think those sun flares and bursts are?


Why do we have blood types?

By Carl Zimmer
From Mosaic
(Science Photo Library)

(Science Photo Library)

More than a century after their discovery, we still don’t know what blood groups like O, A and B are for. Do they really matter? Carl Zimmer investigates.
Blood type key to personality?

Are you A, B, O or AB? It is a widespread belief in Japan that character is linked to blood type. What's behind this conventional wisdom?

When my parents informed me that my blood type was A+, I felt a strange sense of pride. If A+ was the top grade in school, then surely A+ was also the most excellent of blood types – a biological mark of distinction.

It didn’t take long for me to recognise just how silly that feeling was and tamp it down. But I didn’t learn much more about what it really meant to have type A+ blood. By the time I was an adult, all I really knew was that if I should end up in a hospital in need of blood, the doctors there would need to make sure they transfused me with a suitable type.

And yet there remained some nagging questions. Why do 40% of Caucasians have type A blood, while only 27% of Asians do? Where do different blood types come from, and what do they do? To get some answers, I went to the experts – to haematologists, geneticists, evolutionary biologists, virologists and nutrition scientists.

We all know we have a blood type, but what we don't know is exactly why we have them in the first place. (Science Photo Library)

In 1900 the Austrian physician Karl Landsteiner first discovered blood types, winning the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his research in 1930. Since then scientists have developed ever more powerful tools for probing the biology of blood types. They’ve found some intriguing clues about them – tracing their deep ancestry, for example, and detecting influences of blood types on our health. And yet I found that in many ways blood types remain strangely mysterious. Scientists have yet to come up with a good explanation for their very existence.

“Isn’t it amazing?” says Ajit Varki, a biologist at the University of California, San Diego. “Almost a hundred years after the Nobel Prize was awarded for this discovery, we still don’t know exactly what they’re for.”

Transfusion confusion

My knowledge that I’m type A comes to me thanks to one of the greatest discoveries in the history of medicine. Because doctors are aware of blood types, they can save lives by transfusing blood into patients. But for most of history, the notion of putting blood from one person into another was a feverish dream.

Renaissance doctors mused about what would happen if they put blood into the veins of their patients. Some thought that it could be a treatment for all manner of ailments, even insanity. Finally, in the 1600s, a few doctors tested out the idea, with disastrous results. A French doctor injected calf’s blood into a madman, who promptly started to sweat and vomit and produce urine the colour of chimney soot. After another transfusion the man died.

Such calamities gave transfusions a bad reputation for 150 years. Even in the 19th Century only a few doctors dared try out the procedure. One of them was a British physician named James Blundell. Like other physicians of his day, he watched many of his female patients die from bleeding during childbirth. After the death of one patient in 1817, he found he couldn’t resign himself to the way things were.

“I could not forbear considering, that the patient might very probably have been saved by transfusion,” he later wrote.

Transfusions weren't a routine procedure until the discovery that we have blood types (Science Photo Library)

Blundell became convinced that the earlier disasters with blood transfusions had come about thanks to one fundamental error: transfusing “the blood of the brute”, as he put it. Doctors shouldn’t transfer blood between species, he concluded, because “the different kinds of blood differ very importantly from each other”.

Human patients should only get human blood, Blundell decided. But no one had ever tried to perform such a transfusion. Blundell set about doing so by designing a system of funnels and syringes and tubes that could channel blood from a donor to an ailing patient. After testing the apparatus out on dogs, Blundell was summoned to the bed of a man who was bleeding to death. “Transfusion alone could give him a chance of life,” he wrote.

Several donors provided Blundell with 14oz (0.4kg) of blood, which he injected into the man’s arm. After the procedure the patient told Blundell that he felt better – “less fainty” – but two days later he died.

Still, the experience convinced Blundell that blood transfusion would be a huge benefit to mankind, and he continued to pour blood into desperate patients in the following years. All told, he performed 10 blood transfusions. Only four patients survived.

While some other doctors experimented with blood transfusion as well, their success rates were also dismal. Various approaches were tried, including attempts in the 1870s to use milk in transfusions (which were, unsurprisingly, fruitless and dangerous).

Prize discovery

Blundell was correct in believing that humans should only get human blood. But he didn’t know another crucial fact about blood: that humans should only get blood from certain other humans. It’s likely that Blundell’s ignorance of this simple fact led to the death of some of his patients. What makes those deaths all the more tragic is that the discovery of blood types, a few decades later, was the result of a fairly simple procedure.

The first clues as to why the transfusions of the early 19th Century had failed were clumps of blood. When scientists in the late 1800s mixed blood from different people in test tubes, they noticed that sometimes the red blood cells stuck together. But because the blood generally came from sick patients, scientists dismissed the clumping as some sort of pathology not worth investigating. Nobody bothered to see if the blood of healthy people clumped, until Karl Landsteiner wondered what would happen. Immediately, he could see that mixtures of healthy blood sometimes clumped too.

Landsteiner set out to map the clumping pattern, collecting blood from members of his lab, including himself. He separated each sample into red blood cells and plasma, and then he combined plasma from one person with cells from another.

By experimenting on his lab members' and himself, Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types (Science Photo Library)

Landsteiner found that the clumping occurred only if he mixed certain people’s blood together. By working through all the combinations, he sorted his subjects into three groups. He gave them the entirely arbitrary names of A, B and C. (Later on C was renamed O, and a few years later other researchers discovered the AB group. By the middle of the 20th Century the American researcher Philip Levine had discovered another way to categorise blood, based on whether it had the Rhesus (Rh) blood factor. A plus or minus sign at the end of Landsteiner’s letters indicates whether a person has the factor or not.)

When Landsteiner mixed the blood from different people together, he discovered it followed certain rules. If he mixed the plasma from group A with red blood cells from someone else in group A, the plasma and cells remained a liquid. The same rule applied to the plasma and red blood cells from group B. But if Landsteiner mixed plasma from group A with red blood cells from B, the cells clumped (and vice versa).

The blood from people in group O was different. When Landsteiner mixed either A or B red blood cells with O plasma, the cells clumped. But he could add A or B plasma to O red blood cells without any clumping.

Distinguishing features

It’s this clumping that makes blood transfusions so potentially dangerous. If a doctor accidentally injected type B blood into my arm, my body would become loaded with tiny clots. They would disrupt my circulation and cause me to start bleeding massively, struggle for breath and potentially die. But if I received either type A or type O blood, I would be fine.

Landsteiner didn’t know what precisely distinguished one blood type from another. Later generations of scientists discovered that the red blood cells in each type are decorated with different molecules on their surface. In my type A blood, for example, the cells build these molecules in two stages, like two floors of a house. The first floor is called an H antigen. On top of the first floor the cells build a second, called the A antigen.

People with type B blood, on the other hand, build the second floor of the house in a different shape. And people with type O build a single-storey ranch house: they only build the H antigen and go no further.

Different blood types arise as a result of different molecules on the surface of red blood cells (Science Photo Library)

Each person’s immune system becomes familiar with his or her own blood type. If people receive a transfusion of the wrong type of blood, however, their immune system responds with a furious attack, as if the blood were an invader. The exception to this rule is type O blood. It only has H antigens, which are present in the other blood types too. To a person with type A or type B, it seems familiar. That familiarity makes people with type O blood universal donors, and their blood especially valuable to blood centres.

Landsteiner reported his experiment in a short, terse paper in 1900. “It might be mentioned that the reported observations may assist in the explanation of various consequences of therapeutic blood transfusions,” he concluded with exquisite understatement. Landsteiner’s discovery opened the way to safe, large-scale blood transfusions, and even today blood banks use his basic method of clumping blood cells as a quick, reliable test for blood types.

But as Landsteiner answered an old question, he raised new ones. What, if anything, were blood types for? Why should red blood cells bother with building their molecular houses? And why do people have different houses?

Solid scientific answers to these questions have been hard to come by. And in the meantime, some unscientific explanations have gained huge popularity. “It’s just been ridiculous,” sighs Connie Westhoff, the Director of Immunohematology, Genomics and Rare Blood at the New York Blood Center.

Crash diet

In 1996 a naturopath named Peter D’Adamo published a book called Eat Right 4 Your Type. D’Adamo argued that we must eat according to our blood type, in order to harmonise with our evolutionary heritage.

Blood types, he claimed, “appear to have arrived at critical junctures of human development.” According to D’Adamo, type O blood arose in our hunter-gatherer ancestors in Africa, type A at the dawn of agriculture, and type B developed between 10,000 and 15,000 years ago in the Himalayan highlands. Type AB, he argued, is a modern blending of A and B.

From these suppositions D’Adamo then claimed that our blood type determines what food we should eat. With my agriculture-based type A blood, for example, I should be a vegetarian. People with the ancient hunter type O should have a meat-rich diet and avoid grains and dairy. According to the book, foods that aren’t suited to our blood type contain antigens that can cause all sorts of illness. D’Adamo recommended his diet as a way to reduce infections, lose weight, fight cancer and diabetes, and slow the ageing process.

Test card and samples being used to determine a patient's blood type as part of what is known as the blood type diet (Science Photo Library)

D’Adamo’s book has sold seven million copies and has been translated into 60 languages. It’s been followed by a string of other blood type diet books; D’Adamo also sells a line of blood-type-tailored diet supplements on his website. As a result, doctors often get asked by their patients if blood type diets actually work.

The best way to answer that question is to run an experiment. In Eat Right 4 Your Type D’Adamo wrote that he was in the eighth year of a decade-long trial of blood type diets on women with cancer. Eighteen years later, however, the data from this trial have not yet been published.

Recently, researchers at the Red Cross in Belgium decided to see if there was any other evidence in the diet’s favour. They hunted through the scientific literature for experiments that measured the benefits of diets based on blood types. Although they examined over 1,000 studies, their efforts were futile. “There is no direct evidence supporting the health effects of the ABO blood type diet,” says Emmy De Buck of the Belgian Red Cross-Flanders.

After De Buck and her colleagues published their review in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, D’Adamo responded on his blog. In spite of the lack of published evidence supporting his Blood Type Diet, he claimed that the science behind it is right. “There is good science behind the blood type diets, just like there was good science behind Einstein’s mathmatical [sic] calculations that led to the Theory of Relativity,” he wrote.

Different strokes

Comparisons to Einstein notwithstanding, the scientists who actually do research on blood types categorically reject such a claim. “The promotion of these diets is wrong,” a group of researchers flatly declared in Transfusion Medicine Reviews.

Nevertheless, some people who follow the Blood Type Diet see positive results. According to Ahmed El-Sohemy, a nutritional scientist at the University of Toronto, that’s no reason to think that blood types have anything to do with the diet’s success.

El-Sohemy is an expert in the emerging field of nutrigenomics. He and his colleagues have brought together 1,500 volunteers to study, tracking the foods they eat and their health. They are analysing the DNA of their subjects to see how their genes may influence how food affects them. Two people may respond very differently to the same diet based on their genes.

Scientists say there's no reason to think that blood types have anything to do with what you should eat (Science Photo Library)

“Almost every time I give talks about this, someone at the end asks me, ‘Oh, is this like the Blood Type Diet?’” says El-Sohemy. As a scientist, he found Eat Right 4 Your Type lacking. “None of the stuff in the book is backed by science,” he says. But El-Sohemy realised that since he knew the blood types of his 1,500 volunteers, he could see if the Blood Type Diet actually did people any good.

El-Sohemy and his colleagues divided up their subjects by their diets. Some ate the meat-based diets D’Adamo recommended for type O, some ate a mostly vegetarian diet as recommended for type A, and so on. The scientists gave each person in the study a score for how well they adhered to each blood type diet.

The researchers did find, in fact, that some of the diets could do people some good. People who stuck to the type A diet, for example, had lower body mass index scores, smaller waists and lower blood pressure. People on the type O diet had lower triglycerides. The type B diet – rich in dairy products – provided no benefits.

“The catch,” says El-Sohemy, “is that it has nothing to do with people’s blood type.” In other words, if you have type O blood, you can still benefit from a so-called type A diet just as much as someone with type A blood – probably because the benefits of a mostly vegetarian diet can be enjoyed by anyone. Anyone on a type O diet cuts out lots of carbohydrates, with the attending benefits of this being available to virtually everyone. Likewise, a diet rich in dairy products isn’t healthy for anyone – no matter what their blood type.

Monkey business

One of the appeals of the Blood Type Diet is its story of the origins of how we got our different blood types. But that story bears little resemblance to the evidence that scientists have gathered about their evolution.

After Landsteiner’s discovery of human blood types in 1900, other scientists wondered if the blood of other animals came in different types too. It turned out that some primate species had blood that mixed nicely with certain human blood types. But for a long time it was hard to know what to make of the findings. The fact that a monkey’s blood doesn’t clump with my type A blood doesn’t necessarily mean that the monkey inherited the same type A gene that I carry from a common ancestor we share. Type A blood might have evolved more than once.

The uncertainty slowly began to dissolve, starting in the 1990s with scientists deciphering the molecular biology of blood types. They found that a single gene, called ABO, is responsible for building the second floor of the blood type house. The A version of the gene differs by a few key mutations from B. People with type O blood have mutations in the ABO gene that prevent them from making the enzyme that builds either the A or B antigen.

Our blood may have more in common with gibbons than you may think (Science Photo Library)

Scientists could then begin comparing the ABO gene from humans to other species. Laure Segurel and her colleagues at the National Center for Scientific Research in Paris have led the most ambitious survey of ABO genes in primates to date. And they’ve found that our blood types are profoundly old. Gibbons and humans both have variants for both A and B blood types, and those variants come from a common ancestor that lived 20 million years ago.

Our blood types might be even older, but it’s hard to know how old. Scientists have yet to analyse the genes of all primates, so they can’t see how widespread our own versions are among other species. But the evidence that scientists have gathered so far already reveals a turbulent history to blood types. In some lineages mutations have shut down one blood type or another. Chimpanzees, our closest living relatives, have only type A and type O blood. Gorillas, on the other hand, have only B. In some cases mutations have altered the ABO gene, turning type A blood into type B. And even in humans, scientists are finding, mutations have repeatedly arisen that prevent the ABO protein from building a second storey on the blood type house. These mutations have turned blood types from A or B to O. “There are hundreds of ways of being type O,” says Westhoff.

Bombay puzzle

Being type A is not a legacy of my proto-farmer ancestors, in other words. It’s a legacy of my monkey-like ancestors. Surely, if my blood type has endured for millions of years, it must be providing me with some obvious biological benefit. Otherwise, why do my blood cells bother building such complicated molecular structures?

Yet scientists have struggled to identify what benefit the ABO gene provides. “There is no good and definite explanation for ABO,” says Antoine Blancher of the University of Toulouse, “although many answers have been given.”

The most striking demonstration of our ignorance about the benefit of blood types came to light in Bombay in 1952. Doctors discovered that a handful of patients had no ABO blood type at all – not A, not B, not AB, not O. If A and B are two-storey buildings, and O is a one-storey ranch house, then these Bombay patients had only an empty lot.

Since its discovery this condition – called the Bombay phenotype – has turned up in other people, although it remains exceedingly rare. And as far as scientists can tell, there’s no harm that comes from it. The only known medical risk it presents comes when it’s time for a blood transfusion. Those with the Bombay phenotype can only accept blood from other people with the same condition. Even blood type O, supposedly the universal blood type, can kill them.

Doctors discovered that a handful of patients in Bombay in the 1950s had no regular blood type (Getty Images)

The Bombay phenotype proves that there’s no immediate life-or-death advantage to having ABO blood types. Some scientists think that the explanation for blood types may lie in their variation. That’s because different blood types may protect us from different diseases.

Doctors first began to notice a link between blood types and different diseases in the middle of the 20th Century, and the list has continued to grow. “There are still many associations being found between blood groups and infections, cancers and a range of diseases,” Pamela Greenwell of the University of Westminster tells me.

From Greenwell I learn to my displeasure that blood type A puts me at a higher risk of several types of cancer, such as some forms of pancreatic cancer and leukaemia. I’m also more prone to smallpox infections, heart disease and severe malaria. On the other hand, people with other blood types have to face increased risks of other disorders. People with type O, for example, are more likely to get ulcers and ruptured Achilles tendons.

Virus scan

These links between blood types and diseases have a mysterious arbitrariness about them, and scientists have only begun to work out the reasons behind some of them. For example, Kevin Kain of the University of Toronto and his colleagues have been investigating why people with type O are better protected against severe malaria than people with other blood types. His studies indicate that immune cells have an easier job of recognising infected blood cells if they’re type O rather than other blood types.

More puzzling are the links between blood types and diseases that have nothing to do with the blood. Take norovirus. This nasty pathogen is the bane of cruise ships, as it can rage through hundreds of passengers, causing violent vomiting and diarrhoea. It does so by invading cells lining the intestines, leaving blood cells untouched. Nevertheless, people’s blood type influences the risk that they will be infected by a particular strain of norovirus.

The solution to this particular mystery can be found in the fact that blood cells are not the only cells to produce blood type antigens. They are also produced by cells in blood vessel walls, the airway, skin and hair. Many people even secrete blood type antigens in their saliva. Noroviruses make us sick by grabbing onto the blood type antigens produced by cells in the gut.

What blood type you have influences the risk that you will be infected by a particular strain of norovirus (Science Photo Library)

Yet a norovirus can only grab firmly onto a cell if its proteins fit snugly onto the cell’s blood type antigen. So it’s possible that each strain of norovirus has proteins that are adapted to attach tightly to certain blood type antigens, but not others. That would explain why our blood type can influence which norovirus strains can make us sick.

It may also be a clue as to why a variety of blood types have endured for millions of years. Our primate ancestors were locked in a never-ending cage match with countless pathogens, including viruses, bacteria and other enemies. Some of those pathogens may have adapted to exploit different kinds of blood type antigens. The pathogens that were best suited to the most common blood type would have fared best, because they had the most hosts to infect. But, gradually, they may have destroyed that advantage by killing off their hosts. Meanwhile, primates with rarer blood types would have thrived, thanks to their protection against some of their enemies.

As I contemplate this possibility, my type A blood remains as puzzling to me as when I was a boy. But it’s a deeper state of puzzlement that brings me some pleasure. I realise that the reason for my blood type may, ultimately, have nothing to do with blood at all.

This article was originally published by Mosaic, and is reproduced under a Creative Commons licence. For more about the issues around this story, visit Mosaic’s website here.

                   Mystery of the Rh O- Negative Blood Type


The fingerprint information contained in this part of the page is only a partial sampling from the original page link at the bottom.

The History of Fingerprints

Why Fingerprint Identification?

Fingerprints offer an infallible means of personal identification. That is the essential explanation for fingerprints having replaced other methods of establishing the identities of criminals reluctant to admit previous arrests. 1

The science of fingerprint Identification stands out among all other forensic sciences for many reasons, including the following:   

  • Has served governments worldwide for over 100 years to provide accurate identification of criminals. No two fingerprints have ever been found alike in many billions of human and automated computer comparisons.  Fingerprints are the very basis for criminal history foundation at every police agency on earth.

  • Established the first forensic professional organization, the International Association for Identification (IAI), in 1915.

  • Established the first professional certification program for forensic scientists, the IAI's Certified Latent Print Examiner (CLPE) program (in 1977), issuing certification to those meeting stringent criteria and revoking certification for serious errors such as erroneous identifications.  

  • Remains the most commonly used forensic evidence worldwide - in most jurisdictions fingerprint examination cases match or outnumber all other forensic examination casework combined.

  • Continues to expand as the premier method for positively identifying persons, with tens of thousands of persons added to fingerprint repositories daily in America alone. 

  • Worldwide, fingerprints harvested from crime "scenes lead to more suspects and generate more evidence in court than all other forensic laboratory techniques combined. 2"

Other visible human characteristics tend to change - fingerprints are much more persistent.  Barring injuries, surgery causing deep scarring, or diseases such as leprosy damaging the formative layers of friction ridge skin (injuries, scarring and diseases tend to exhibit telltale indicators of unnatural change), finger and palm print features have never been shown to move about or change their unit relationship throughout the life of a person.  

In earlier civilizations, branding and even maiming were used to mark the criminal for what he or she was. The thief was deprived of the hand which committed the thievery. Ancient Romans employed the tattoo needle to identify and prevent desertion of mercenary soldiers from their ranks.  

Before the mid-1800s, law enforcement officers with extraordinary visual memories, so-called "camera eyes," identified previously arrested offenders by sight. Photography lessened the burden on memory but was not the answer to the criminal identification problem. Personal appearances change.

Around 1870, French anthropologist Alphonse Bertillon devised a system to measure and record the dimensions of certain bony parts of the body. These measurements were reduced to a formula which, theoretically, would apply only to one person and would not change during his/her adult life.

The Bertillon System was generally accepted for thirty years. But the anthropometric measurement system never recovered from the events of 1903, when a man named Will West was sentenced to the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth, Kansas. It was discovered there was already a prisoner at the penitentiary at the time, whose Bertillon measurements were nearly the same, and his name was William West.

Upon investigation, there were indeed two men who looked exactly alike. Their names were William and Will West. Their Bertillon measurements were close enough to identify them as the same person. However, a fingerprint comparison quickly and correctly identified them as two different people. (Per prison records publicized years later, the West men were apparently identical twin brothers and each had a record of correspondence with the same immediate family relatives.)


Ancient artifacts including carvings similar to friction ridge skin have been discovered in many places throughout the world.  Picture writing of a hand with ridge patterns was discovered in Nova Scotia. In ancient Babylon, fingerprints were used on clay tablets for business transactions.

BC 200s - China

Chinese records from the 221-206 BC Qin Dynasty include details about using handprints as evidence during burglary investigations. 

Clay seals bearing friction ridge impressions were used during both the Qin and Han Dynasties (221 BC - 220 AD).

Chinese Clay Seal

1880 - Faulds 

During the 1870s, Dr. Henry Faulds, the British Surgeon-Superintendent of Tsukiji Hospital in Tokyo, Japan, took up the study of "skin-furrows" after noticing finger marks on specimens of "prehistoric" pottery. A learned and industrious man, Dr. Faulds not only recognized the importance of fingerprints as a means of identification, but devised a method of classification as well.

In 1880, Faulds forwarded an explanation of his classification system and a sample of the forms he had designed for recording inked impressions, to Sir Charles Darwin. Darwin, in advanced age and ill health, informed Dr. Faulds that he could be of no assistance to him, but promised to pass the materials on to his cousin, Francis Galton.

Also in 1880, Dr. Henry Faulds published an article in the Scientific Journal, "Nature" (nature). He discussed fingerprints as a means of personal identification, and the use of printers ink as a method for obtaining such fingerprints. He is also credited with the first fingerprint identification of a greasy fingerprint left on an alcohol bottle.

2014 - America's Largest Database

The largest AFIS repository  in America is operated by the Department of Homeland Security's US Visit Program, containing over 120 million persons' fingerprints, many in the form of two-finger records.  The US Visit Program has been migrating from two flat (not rolled) fingerprints to ten flat fingerprints since 2007.  "Fast capture" technology currently enables recording of ten simultaneous fingerprint impressions in as little as 15 seconds per person.

The largest criminal fingerprint AFIS repository in America is the FBI's Next Generation Identification (NGI) in Clarksburg, WV.  NGI has more than 60 million individual computerized fingerprint records (both criminal and civil applicant records). 

Tentatively during the fall of 2014, FBI civil fingerprint files in NGI (mainly federal employees post-May 2000) will be searchable for the first time by US law enforcement agencies.  Most enlisted military service member fingerprint cards received after 1990, and all military-related fingerprint cards received after 19 May 2000, have been computerized and will be searchable. 

The FBI is continuing to expand their automated identification activities to include other biometrics such as palm, face, and iris.  Face search capabilities in NGI are a reality for many US law enforcement agencies accessing NGI, and several are participating in iris pilot projects.

All US states and many large cities have their own AFIS databases, each with a subset of fingerprint records that is not stored in any other database.  Many also store and search palmprints.  Law enforcement fingerprint interface standards are important to enable sharing records and reciprocal searches to identify criminals.  

Interpol, the European Union's Prüm Treaty, the FBI's Next Generation Identification and other initiatives seek to improve cross-jurisdiction sharing (probing and sharing/pushing) of important finger and palm print data to identify criminals. 

Fingerprinting Merit Badge


Some of the above wording is credited to the writing of Greg Moore, from his previous fingerprint history page at (no longer there).  Also, David L. von Minden, Ph.D helped correct typos his students kept cutting and pasting into their homework. 

2  Interpol, "General Position on Fingerprint Evidence," by the Interpol European Expert Group on Fingerprint Identification, at

Coulier, P.-J. Les vapeurs d'iode employees comme moyen de reconnaitre l'alteration des ecritures. In L'Annee scientiJique et industrielle; Figuier, L. Ed.; Hachette, 1863; 8, pp 157-160 at (as of March 2010).

Margot, Pierre and Quinche, Nicolas, "Coulier, Paul-Jean (1824-1890): A Precursor in the History of Fingermark Detection and Their Potential Use for Identifying Their Source (1863)", Journal of forensic identification, 60 (2), March-April 2010, pp. 129-134, (published by the International Association for Identification).



Main article: Human genetics
A graphical representation of the ideal human karyotype, including both the male and female variant of the sex chromosome (number 23).

Like all mammals, humans are a diploid eukaryotic species. Each somatic cell has two sets of 23 chromosomes, each set received from one parent; gametes have only one set of chromosomes, which is a mixture of the two parental sets. Among the 23 pairs of chromosomes there are 22 pairs of autosomes and one pair of sex chromosomes. Like other mammals, humans have an XY sex-determination system, so that females have the sex chromosomes XX and males have XY.

One human genome was sequenced in full in 2003, and currently efforts are being made to achieve a sample of the genetic diversity of the species (see International HapMap Project). By present estimates, humans have approximately 22,000 genes.[82] The variation in human DNA is very small compared to other species, possibly suggesting a population bottleneck during the Late Pleistocene (around 100,000 years ago), in which the human population was reduced to a small number of breeding pairs.[83][84] Nucleotide diversity is based on single mutations called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). The nucleotide diversity between humans is about 0.1%, i.e. 1 difference per 1,000 base pairs.[85][86] A difference of 1 in 1,000 nucleotides between two humans chosen at random amounts to about 3 million nucleotide differences, since the human genome has about 3 billion nucleotides. Most of these single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are neutral but some (about 3 to 5%) are functional and influence phenotypic differences between humans through alleles.

By comparing the parts of the genome that are not under natural selection and which therefore accumulate mutations at a fairly steady rate, it is possible to reconstruct a genetic tree incorporating the entire human species since the last shared ancestor. Each time a certain mutation (SNP) appears in an individual and is passed on to his or her descendants, a haplogroup is formed including all of the descendants of the individual who will also carry that mutation. By comparing mitochondrial DNA, which is inherited only from the mother, geneticists have concluded that the last female common ancestor whose genetic marker is found in all modern humans, the so-called mitochondrial Eve, must have lived around 200,000 years ago.

The forces of natural selection have continued to operate on human populations, with evidence that certain regions of the genome display directional selection in the past 15,000 years.[87]


Biological variation

People in warm climates are often relatively slender, tall and dark skinned, such as these Maasai men from Kenya.
People in cold climates tend to be relatively short, heavily built and fair skinned such as these Inuit women from Canada.

No two humans – not even monozygotic twins – are genetically identical. Genes and environment influence human biological variation from visible characteristics to physiology to disease susceptibly to mental abilities. The exact influence of genes and environment on certain traits is not well understood.[115][116]

Most current genetic and archaeological evidence supports a recent single origin of modern humans in East Africa,[117] with first migrations placed at 60,000 years ago. Compared to the great apes, human gene sequences – even among African populations – are remarkably homogeneous.[118] On average, genetic similarity between any two humans is 99.9%.[119][120] There is about 2–3 times more genetic diversity within the wild chimpanzee population on a single hillside in Gombe, than in the entire human gene pool.[121][122][123][124]

The human body's ability to adapt to different environmental stresses is remarkable, allowing humans to acclimatize to a wide variety of temperatures, humidity, and altitudes. As a result, humans are a cosmopolitan species found in almost all regions of the world, including tropical rainforests, arid desert, extremely cold arctic regions, and heavily polluted cities. Most other species are confined to a few geographical areas by their limited adaptability.[125]

There is biological variation in the human species — with traits such as blood type, cranial features, eye color, hair color and type, height and build, and skin color varying across the globe. Human body types vary substantially. The typical height of an adult human is between 1.4 m (4 ft 7 in) to 1.9 m (6 ft 3 in), although this varies significantly depending, among other things, on sex and ethnic origin.[126][127] Body size is partly determined by genes and is also significantly influenced by environmental factors such as diet, exercise, and sleep patterns, especially as an influence in childhood. Adult height for each sex in a particular ethnic group approximately follows a normal distribution. Those aspects of genetic variation that give clues to human evolutionary history, or are relevant to medical research, have received particular attention. For example the genes that allow adult humans to digest lactose are present in high frequencies in populations that have long histories of cattle domestication, suggesting natural selection having favored that gene in populations that depend on cow milk. Some hereditary diseases such as sickle cell anemia are frequent in populations where malaria has been endemic throughout history — it is believed that the same gene gives increased resistance to malaria among those who are unaffected carriers of the gene. Similarly, populations that have for a long time inhabited specific climates, such as arctic or tropical regions or high altitudes, tend to have developed specific phenotypes that are beneficial for conserving energy in those environments — short stature and stocky build in cold regions, tall and lanky in hot regions, and with high lung capacities at high altitudes. Similarly, skin color varies clinally with darker skin around the equator — where the added protection from the sun's ultraviolet radiation is thought to give an evolutionary advantage  — and lighter skin tones closer to the poles.[128][129][130][131]

The hue of human skin and hair is determined by the presence of pigments called melanins. Human skin color can range from darkest brown to lightest peach, or even nearly white or colorless in cases of albinism.[124] Human hair ranges in color from white to red to blond to brown to black, which is most frequent.[132] Hair color depends on the amount of melanin (an effective sun blocking pigment) in the skin and hair, with hair melanin concentrations in hair fading with increased age, leading to grey or even white hair. Most researchers believe that skin darkening is an adaptation that evolved as protection against ultraviolet solar radiation, which also helps balancing folate, which is destroyed by ultraviolet radiation. Light skin pigmentation protects against depletion of vitamin D, which requires sunlight to make.[133] Skin pigmentation of contemporary humans is clinally distributed across the planet, and in general correlates with the level of ultraviolet radiation in a particular geographic area. Human skin also has a capacity to darken (tan) in response to exposure to ultraviolet radiation.[134][135][136]

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