A real-life condition known as adermatoglyphia leaves some people without fingerprints, making it difficult for them to pass through security or checkpoints.
Now Prof. Eli Sprecher of Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center has identified the genetic mutation responsible for this unusual condition.
The genetic mutation has given researchers unique insights into the most complex biological phenomena, such as the consequences of lacking a single protein.
In addition to causing an absence of fingerprints, the exceptionally rare condition also leads to a reduction in the number of sweat glands.
Only four documented families are known to suffer from the disease worldwide.
The study has been published in the American Journal of Human Genetics.