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Q: Why do we have fingerprints?

A: No two people have the same exact fingerprints. That's why prints are known for helping detectives track down criminals. But these little ridges actually serve a bigger purpose. They help you grip things, says Richard Jantz, a scientist at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. The ridges give your fingertips texture. They also contain sweat glands (sweat-making organs under the skin) that make your fingertips slightly moist. Both features increase the force of friction between your fingertips and objects as they rub together. This keeps you from being a butterfingers.

QUESTION FROM--Averi H., Minnesota

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Title Annotation:the Back Page; fingerprints
Author:H., Averi
Publication:SuperScience
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2009
Words:103
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