Link #94: Humans Have Stripes like Tigers but They’re Invisible!

 

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Link #94: Humans Have Stripes like Tigers but They’re Invisible!

Tiger_Stripe
Grunge textured tiger stripes on vintage paper by Free Grunge Textures – www.freestock.ca, cc2.0

Most intelligent people know that nature is vast. They are aware that there is so much diversity in nature that the human race has, till now, mapped all the species living on the planet. While many components of nature are there for us all to witness, there are also elements that are completely invisible to us without the help of science.

For example, in our last post, we spoke about how urine will glow in ultraviolet light even after it has evaporated. There are other things in nature that are invisible to us. In fact, there’s something on our own bodies that is completely invisible to us. We have stripes on our bodies just like tigers, but we can’t see them because they’re invisible.

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How Can Humans Have Stripes like Tigers?

Alfred_Blaschko
Alfred Blaschko (1858–1922). PD image.

The stripes that we have on our bodies are known as Blaschko’s Lines or Lines of Blaschko. These lines are named after the person who first discovered them while studying dermatological conditions – Alfred Blaschko. Blaschko discovered these lines in people suffering from different types of dermatological conditions.

Under normal conditions, these lines remain invisible, but they become visible when certain skin related diseases cause natural mosaicism in humans. Natural mosaicism occurs when certain types of cells in the human body become visibly different from other similar skin cells in the body.

The result is that the clones of these cells also start displaying the same differences. The areas where these cells occur, thus, gain stripes.


Why Do Blaschko’s Lines Occur?

Human_Embryo
Embryo @ 6- 7 weeks by lunar caustic cc2.0

Blaschko’s Lines are a result of the way our bodies develop. Most cells in our body are clones of a specific number of cells that occur in the embryo. The embryo is formed at the earliest development phase of a human being inside the womb of the mother. Embryos occur between the first and eight weeks of development of the child.

The cells in the embryo multiply and follow a particular route on the body. This means that they grow in a particular direction on the body. These routes cause the formation of Blaschko’s Lines on the human body. As the body continues to develop and grow, so do Blaschko’s Lines.

Thus, Blaschko’s Lines become visible more clearly when skin cells of the same type or clones become affected by problems such as flawed pigmentation, rashes or even a series of moles.


What Is the Pattern of Blaschko’s Lines?

Blaschko
Blaschko, PD image.

You’re most probably wondering if your Blaschko’s Lines are any different than your best friend’s. The answer is that they are not. Blaschko’s Lines are the same in every human being the world over, regardless of sex, age, or race. So, what is the pattern of Blaschko’s Lines?

Blaschko’s Lines tend to run down people’s arms and legs in straight lines with minor branching and curving. On the front of your torso, they’ll form whorls and S shapes while on your back, they tend to form Vs with your spine being the focal point. They also exist on your head in the form of a spiral.




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Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embryo
http://genetics.thetech.org/ask/ask75
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blaschko’s_lines
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/08/12/blaschkos-lines/
http://io9.com/5963790/humans-have-stripes-you-just-cant-see-them
http://www.weirdworldfacts.com/blaschkos-lines-the-invisible-lines-on-every-humans-body/

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