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April 23, 1904


JAMA. 1904;XLII(17):1083. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02490620025008

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In the Vienna correspondence of the Medical Press and Circular, March 12, it is reported that Dr. Heim presented before the medical society at Vienna (Gesellschaft der Aerzte), a woman aged forty, who twenty-one years before had suffered from injury and blood poisoning of the right middle finger, which necessitated two years later amputation of the finger with the third metacarpal bone. Since then she has had six children, four of whom have had cloven hands shaped in the same manner as their mother's, with, in some cases, a rudimentary third metacarpal bone. Heim also gave a history of a similar condition existing in three generations in another case. Considering the fact that the inheritance of acquired characters is a matter of dispute and is positively denied by a large school of medical writers, such reports as these are deserving of a thorough investigation. They are in accordance with the

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