In 2007, dermatologist Peter Itin was contacted by a Swiss woman with an unusual quandry: She was having trouble entering the U.S. because she had no fingerprints. Regulations require all non-residents to be fingerprinted when they enter the country, and the authorities were baffled when the woman said that she simply hadn’t been born with any.
When Itin looked into the case, he found that eight other members of the woman’s extended family also had been born printless. Ultimately, working with Israeli dermatologist Eli Sprecher and other colleagues, Itin tracked down three other unrelated families that included people with adermatoglyphia, which they dubbed “immigration delay disease,” and successfully located the single gene mutation responsible in 2011.
Read the full, original story: Adermatoglyphia: The Genetic Disorder Of People Born Without Fingerprints