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What is Dermatoglyphics?

Dermatoglyphics is the scientific study of fingerprints which come from two Greek words (Derma = skin and glyphe = carve). Basically Dermatoglyphics refers to friction ridge formations which appear on fingers, palms of the hands and soles of the feet. The term was coined by Dr. Harold Cummins, the father of American fingerprint analysis, even though the process of fingerprint identification had already been used for several hundred years. Harold studied all aspects of fingerprint analysis, from anthropology to genetics, from embryology to the study of malformed hands with from two to seven fingers. His willingness to stake his reputation on research that only became scientific "fact" two decades later cemented his place in history and brought national attention to dermatoglyphics.