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April 5, 1947


Author Affiliations

Toronto. Associate Professor of Human Biology, University of Toronto Department of Zoology.

JAMA. 1947;133(14):1032. doi:10.1001/jama.1947.02880140062026

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To the Editor:—  I should like to draw your attention to a gross error in the article by Dr. Hyman published in The Journal for Dec. 7, 1946. Dr. Hyman's statement that the footprints of infants taken at birth are useless because they "change after a few months" and therefore are of no value in later establishing the identity of a person shows that Dr. Hyman has no understanding of structure and development of the dermal ridges. Skin patterns are established at the third and fourth fetal months, and from that time throughout life there is no significant alteration in the details of the ridges and the patterns they form. Dr. Hyman is perhaps under the misapprehension that the footprints record only the creases or folds of the skin, which of course do change.It is quite true that in many institutions the footprints of infants are so poorly made

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