Mt. Vernon Register-News

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January 14, 2013

Wrinkles help fingers get a grip

(Continued)

Despite their grip-enhancing benefits, wrinkles don't persist indefinitely once a hand is no longer submerged-a sign that under most circumstances there may be a downside to water-induced puckering, Smulders says. Maybe wrinkled skin is less sensitive, or maybe it's more prone to be snagged and injured. Neither notion has been tested. Wrinkled toes and feet may provide surer footing in wet conditions, his team contends, but that, too, hasn't been studied. Perhaps this is one experiment you can try at home.

This is adapted from ScienceNOW, the online daily news service of the journal Science. http://news.sciencemag.org

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