Star Wars episode V - Luke Skywalker's prosthetic hand.Luke Skywalker from Star Wars.

BIONIC HANDS – From Luke Skywalker (Star Wars) to the first prosthetic hand!

What appeared to be science fiction in 1980 when Luke Skywalker’s “prosthetic hand” was introduced in Star Wars episode V (‘The Empire strikes Back’), has in the 21th century definitely become reality. For, in 2008 Time Magazine included the ‘bionic hand’ in the list of best inventions!

The article presents an overview of the milestones in the developments of various ‘bionic hands’ – what could become the ‘NEXT NATURE’ version of the human hand! A review of how disabled people in time were able to become a ‘bionic man’ or ‘bionic woman’!

NOTICE: The concept ‘Next Nature‘ – introduced by sciene philosopher Koert van Mensvoort – is described as follows:

“Next nature is the nature caused by human culture. That may sound like a contradiction, but really, it isn’t. Our technological world has become so intricate and uncontrollable that it has become a nature of its own. This means we have to re-investigate our notion of nature.”

SUGGESTION FOR FURTHER READING:

BIONIC HANDS: From Luke Skywalker to Time’s 2008 best inventions!
A new milestone for the bionic hand (2007)
Evolution of the 5 fingers in the human hand!
The man who grew a finger!
More ‘evolutionary’ hand reports!

Palmar keratosis is often seen in bladder cancer & lung cancer.

HANDS ON CANCER – ‘Palmar keratosis’ is often seen in various types of cancer!

‘Palmar keratosis’ is a relatively common skin condition characterized by an overgrowth of keratin on the skin of the hand. Interestingly, this skin condition in the hand is about 4 times more frequently observed in persons with various cancerous tumors, including: bladder cancer & lung cancer.

Some statistics on ‘palmar keratosis’ & cancer:

“This skin condition in the hand is about 4 times more frequently observed in persons with cancerous tumors – compared to healthy individuals (15% to 23%). Multiple studies have indicated that ‘palmar keratosis’ is especially very often seen in patients with bladder cancer (67% to 87%) or lung cancer (71%).”

NOTICE: ‘Skin keratosis’ is a very common (pre-cancerous growth) skin condition – ‘actinic keratosis‘, the most common variant, is usually found on various body parts, including: the backs of the upper arms, thighs, and (especially in women) the buttocks areas.

SUGGESTION FOR FURTHER READING:

HANDS ON CANCER: 4 hand characteristics related to various cancers!
HAND-FOOT SYNDROME: Why a cancer patient may have no fingerprints!
Can palm reading pick up ovarian cancer?
Tripe palms may signal lung cancer or stomach cancer!
Nail clubbing may signal lung, heart & stomach diseases!
Palmar fascial thickening + deeper palm lines linked with ovarian cancer!

The right hand of the 36th US president: Lyndon Johnson!

Right hand photo of Lyndon Johnson - the 36th US president.

Lyndon Johnson - right hand waving photo!

President Lyndon Johnson: right hand waving photo

Presidential Palm Reading:
the Lyndon Johnson ‘hand-file’!

• President: 1963-1969;
• Dexterity: right handed;
• Hand type: square palm shape;
• Fingers: normal finger length, short index finger, long ring finger, long pinky.

 

In april ’09 TIME magazine presented a photo essay on the hands of the last 9 US presidents; US palmist Robin Gile was asked to present his palm reading for each president. Without knowing that it was Lyndon Johnson’s hand, this is how Robin Gile described Johnson’s hand:

“The Charisma of a Performer”

“There’s a line that rises from the palm to the ring finger, which shows we’re talking about someone with the charisma of a performer, “ says Robin Gile, co-author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Palmistry. “He’s generous. I also see he’s stubborn, in a very passive-aggressive way. Decisions may not have been his strong suit. He didn’t have great mental discipline, he followed the course of least resistance. Overall, more a performer than a leader, I would say.”

MORE DETAILS AVAILABLE AT:

The hands of the 36th US president: Lyndon Johnson!
The hands of the last 10 US presidents!
How to recognize the hand of a US president?
FINGER RESEARCH – Finger length ratio linked with financial risks!’

A presidential ‘facebook’:
a presidential facebook!

Primate hands: the hand of a macaque!

Primate hands: the hand of a macaque!

‘Whorls’ are a common features in the hands of many primate species!

What are the major differences between the hands of primate species and the human?

• 1 – Primates usually have a shorter thumb than humans – the thumb of the macaque (see photo on the left) does not rearch out behond the distal border of the handpalm.

• 2 – Primates usually have a lower ‘2D:4D digit ratio’ than humans – the hand of the macaque is featured with a much longer ring finger (digit 4) than the pointer finger (digit 2).

• 3 – Primates usually have more fingerprint- and palmar whorls than humans – the hand of the macaque is featured with 5 palmar whorls.

• 4 – Primates always have a lower ‘ridge density’ than humans.

• 5 – Primates usually have (various) palmar transversal creases, a.k.a. ‘simian lines’ – the hand of the macaque has one ‘simian line’.

SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING:
The Monkey Palmist!
Fingerprints, toeprints, and … tailprints?
Understanding our past: the human hand vs. the primate hand!
Hands in the perspective of evolution!
Weird stories about hands & evolution!

PHOTO: Impression from the back of the hand of a macaque:
Impression from the back of the hand of a macaque.

The hand of a white faced Capuchin primate ape.

Finger length in primates linked with cooperative, competitive, and sexual behavior!

Research at the universities of Liverpool and Oxford into the finger length of various primate species has revealed that cooperative behavior is linked to exposure to hormone levels in the womb!

The sientists have used finger ratios as an indicator of the levels of exposure to the hormone and compared this data with social behaviour in primate groups.

The team found that Old World monkeys, such as baboons and rhesus macaques, have a longer fourth finger in comparison to the second finger, which suggests that they have been exposed to high levels of prenatal androgens. These species tend to be highly competitive and promiscuous, which suggests that exposure to a lot of androgens before birth could be linked to the expression of this behaviour.

Other species, such as gibbons and many New World apes, have digit ratios that suggest low levels of prenatal androgen exposure. These species were monogamous and less competitive than Old World monkeys.

The results show that Great Apes, such as orangutans and chimpanzees, expressed a different finger ratio. The analysis suggests that early androgen exposure is lower in this groups compared to Old World monkeys. Lower androgen levels could help explain why Great Apes show high levels of male cooperation and tolerance.

HOW CAN WE UNDERSTAND THESE RESULTS?

Emma Nelson

Primate finger length researcher Emma Nelson explains:

“It is thought that prenatal androgens affect the genes responsible for the development of fingers, toes and the reproductive system. High androgen levels from a foetus or mother during pregnancy, may alter gene function and lead to subtle changes in relative digit length and the functioning of the reproductive system. Finger ratios do not change very much after birth and appear to tell us something about how very early androgens affect adult behaviour, particularly behaviour linked to mating and reproduction.”

ILLUSTRATION: A comparison of the human hand with primate hands reveals that only the human hand is featured with a long opposable thumb!
Comparison of primate hands: only the human hand is featured with a long opposable thumb!

SUGGESTION FOR FURTHER READING:

Finger length linked with social behavior!
Understanding our past: “the primate hand vs. the human hand”!
More finger length reports!
Evolution of the human hand & the mystery of the 5 fingers!

Hand meat!

Megan reports how you can make it yourself!

“Since August I’ve had a post it note over my desk that simply said “meat hand”. I mulled over how to make it for a while. I realized that the old formed inside a plastic glove thing wouldn’t work since the fingers would cook so much faster than the rest of the hand. It wasn’t until I saw this hand gelatin mold that I had my plan.”

The hand meat hand mold!

“I shot several angles to show how it has a base built in, meaning I could probably use it to mold meatloaf.”

“I made the basic meatloaf recipe from ‘How to Cook Everything’ using a food processor to chop the onions and carrot to a very fine mince so I could fill in the details of the mold without trouble. One meatloaf recipe using 2 pounds of meat will make two hands.”

The hand meat ingredients!

“I sprayed the inside of the mold with cooking oil spray and it came out fairly easily. I put it on top of a rack to allow the fat to run off as it cooked.”

The hand meat uncooked molded!

“I did a few versions, learning as I went along.”

HAND MEAT – VERSION No.1:

“The first one was straight meatloaf. I surrounded it with mashed potatoes and kale (or brain matter and swamp greens if you have kids, or just act like kids). It looked ok, sort of creepy.”

The hand meat - version No.1!

HAND MEAT – VERSION No.2:

“The next time I tried adding fingernails made of onion, which were just like press on nails. To make the fingernails I sliced a thin round off of a single layer of an onion, then used kitchen scissors to trim it into a nail shape keeping the lines in the onion running the length of the nail. I kept the thinnest end of the onion slice at the tip of the nail.”

The hand meat - version No.2!

“This time to better define the fingers I piped mashed potatoes around to define the hand shape. I just used a ziploc bag with a small corner snipped off to do the detail inbetween fingers, then I snipped off a larger corner to pipe around the hand. I smoothed down the mashed potatoes with a silicone spatula. The results where pretty creepy.”

The hand meat - version No.2, with mashed potatoes!

HAND MEAT – VERSION No.3:

“The ketchup covered hand made me pretty happy but… I had this idea. My mom used to throw a slice of cheese on top of her meatloaf before cooking it and the cheese always turned out browned and crispy. I wondered how that would work with my relatively delicate hand. I also had the idea to use the smaller inner layers of the onion to create a cartoon-y wrist bone sticking out.”

The hand meat - version No.3, with red onion fingernails!

The hand meat - version No.3, with white onion fingernails!

“I made two versions. The first used white onion and was simply covered in cheese. The second used red onion and was covered with ketchup and then cheese. I used slices of provolone cheese because I knew it wouldn’t slide off completely as it melted. (Maggi suggested it, thanks Maggi!) This time I used the version of meatloaf with spinach, again from ‘How to Cook Everything’. Here are some pre-cooked pictures – see above.”

The hand meat - version No.3, wrist bone!

“If I were to do it again I would have put less cheese around the fingers, or rather, I would have put narrower pieces. The cheese pooled inbetween the fingers and made it more difficult to diguise later on.”

The hand meat - version No.3, with cheese cover!

“This cheese thing, it worked a bit too well. We couldn’t bring ourselves to actually eat either of them (though, we had been eating a lot of meatloaf lately). Here is a picture showing them side by side. They were cooked at the same time and the one with the ketchup beneath the cheese (white fingernails) browned a bit more. You can also see that piping the detail more carefully can make a difference.”

The hand meat - version No.3, the results!

“The wrist bone of the white onion was pushed out a bit as the meatloaf cooked.”

The hand meat - version No.3, white onion - wrist bone!

“The smaller onion piece of the red onion write bone wasn’t as impressive.”

The hand meat - version No.3, red onion - wrist bone!

The hand meat - version No.3, red onion meat hand!

The hand meat - version No.3, white onion meat hand!

“The red onion fingernails were creepier, but the white onion fingernails might get the point across more quickly.”

MORE FUNNY HAND NEWS:

The mystery of the five fingers
The hand of God
The six digit man – hand satire from the Bill Gates Medical Center.

The hand of the six digit man.

October 15 is 'Global Handwashing Day'!

The driving theme for Global Handwashing Day is children and schools, and the main objectives of this global celebration are:

• Foster & support global culture of handwashing with soap.
• Shine a light on state of handwashing in each country.
• Raise awareness about benefits of handwashing with soap.

Read more at: GlobalHandWashingDay.org and remember:
Handwashing & Hand Hygiene is the major prevention against swine flu!

A funny recommendation:
Wash your hands with hands!”

Wash your hands with hands & fight the H1N1 virus (swine flu)!

A few more important reminders in the perspective of the current H1N1 swine flue pandemic are:

• Don’t think that you can wash your hands properly without using soap!
• Don’t think that a hand sanitizer is meant to replace handwashing!
• The best way to make sure your hands are clean is to wash them for twenty seconds several times a day!

MORE DETAILS AVAILABLE AT:

Hands on ‘hand hygiene’!
Swine flu prevention is a matter of ‘hand hygiene’!
Hand Hygiene: warm air dryers increase bacteria on hands!
More hand hygiene news!

Fight the swine flu: wash your hands - use soap and water for 15-20 seconds!