Your Hair Tells if Your Right or Left Handed

Analog

Lifer
Jan 7, 2002
12,755
3
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If you want to know whether your newborn baby will be right-handed or left-handed, here's a way to tell that is almost fool-proof: Look at the baby's hair. If the hair swirls clockwise, there is a 95 percent chance that the person is right-handed. The curls of lefties and the ambidextrous are equally likely to coil either way.

What does your handedness have to do with your hair? This isn't some goofy New Age idea or parlor game, although it would be fun to try at parties since it also works on adults. Nature News and London's Evening Standard report that researchers from the National Cancer Institute in Frederick, Maryland have determined that one gene might control both hair swirl direction and handedness and in the process explain the divided brain. That has geneticists hunting for a single gene with either "right" or "random" forms. Those who have one or two copies of the "right" version of the gene would be right-handed and have hair that swirls clockwise. Those who have two "random" versions of the gene could be either right- or left-handed and have hair that swirls in either direction.

To arrive at this fascinating conclusion that your hairstyle determines your handedness, researcher Amar Klar of the National Cancer Institute had to be a little underhanded. He surreptitiously checked out the heads and hands of 500 people in airports and shopping malls. Anyone with long hair and those who were bald were not included in his survey.

What do other scientists think of this research? "It's one of the most exciting things [I've seen] in a while," geneticist Ralph Greenspan of the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego, Calif., exclaimed to Nature News. He suggests that a gene causing asymmetric cell division in the young embryo might set up asymmetry throughout the body. Others aren't so sure. Clyde Francks of the University of Oxford in Great Britain thinks there are many genes--not just one--that determine if we're right-handed or left-handed.

This gene hunt could be hard. Some think there may not even be a gene for handedness since two left-handed parents can have a right-handed kid. Or, in a set of identical twins, one could be right-handed and the other left-handed. Aha! Klar thinks he has this one solved. If the children of lefties inherit a "random" gene, they could be either right-handed or left-handed--so it's still genetically governed.

"It is certainly possible to make a very accurate guess at which hand somebody writes with by looking at their head," Klar told London's Evening Standard. "Medically, this is also important as it reveals a lot about how the brain develops and which parts of the body develop along with it. It is actually a very good indicator of brain symmetry." The research could one day help treat diseases caused by abnormalities in brain symmetry like autism, schizophrenia, and dyslexia.

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Fausto

Elite Member
Nov 29, 2000
26,521
2
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What if you have a double crown? I do, and am right-handed. My daughter does as well, but appears to be favoring her left hand for grabbing stuff.
 

Ornery

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
20,022
17
81
My sons were born bald. Don't which way their hair swirls now, but I'll check when they get home. They both ended up left handed somehow. I tried like crazy to get them to at least use their right hands for writing, but no go. Both have crappy handwriting, even worse than mine! Neither my wife, nor I are left handed, and neither are our parents. My wife's brother is left handed though.
 

stonecold3169

Platinum Member
Jan 30, 2001
2,060
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wait wait wait... isn't something like 95% of the population right handed? So then, that 95% will be righthanded if it goes clockwise statement really means nothing, since thats around the right statistic...
 

Reliant

Diamond Member
Mar 29, 2001
3,843
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Originally posted by: Ornery
My sons were born bald. Don't which way their hair swirls now, but I'll check when they get home. They both ended up left handed somehow. I tried like crazy to get them to at least use their right hands for writing, but no go. Both have crappy handwriting, even worse than mine! Neither my wife, nor I are left handed, and neither are our parents. My wife's brother is left handed though.

Why would you try to make them right-handed?
 

Aves

Lifer
Feb 7, 2001
12,232
29
101
Originally posted by: Reliant
Why would you try to make them right-handed?
I wonder that too. A guy I went to HS with had parents that made him write with his right hand even though he was left handed.
 

MrScott81

Golden Member
Aug 31, 2001
1,891
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76
Originally posted by: stonecold3169
wait wait wait... isn't something like 95% of the population right handed? So then, that 95% will be righthanded if it goes clockwise statement really means nothing, since thats around the right statistic...

exactly what i was just going to say
 

allisolm

Elite Member
Administrator
Jan 2, 2001
24,986
4,316
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wait wait wait... isn't something like 95% of the population right handed? So then, that 95% will be righthanded if it goes clockwise statement really means nothing, since thats around the right statistic...

Pretty close. The way I remember it about 90% of women, 85% of men are right-handed. I'm one of the lucky 10% left-handed females.
 

AccruedExpenditure

Diamond Member
May 12, 2001
6,957
5
81
Originally posted by: allisolm
wait wait wait... isn't something like 95% of the population right handed? So then, that 95% will be righthanded if it goes clockwise statement really means nothing, since thats around the right statistic...

Pretty close. The way I remember it about 90% of women, 85% of men are right-handed. I'm one of the lucky 10% left-handed females.

Luck had nothing to do with it...

It's an right-handed world!
 

djheater

Lifer
Mar 19, 2001
14,637
2
0
The article does not imply, but I want to reinforce that, the genes aren't necessarily a predictor. There are other determinants of handedness.

My wife is a right-handed identical twin. Her sister, they are mirror twins, is left-handed. They have identical genes.

;) :) :D
 

Ornery

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
20,022
17
81
Originally posted by: Reliant
Originally posted by: Ornery
My sons were born bald. Don't which way their hair swirls now, but I'll check when they get home. They both ended up left handed somehow. I tried like crazy to get them to at least use their right hands for writing, but no go. Both have crappy handwriting, even worse than mine! Neither my wife, nor I are left handed, and neither are our parents. My wife's brother is left handed though.

Why would you try to make them right-handed?
Where did I say I "tried to make them right handed"? I said I tried to get them to write with their right hands. Helluva lot easier, since you have to write from left to right, no matter which handedness you are. Do left handers shift gears in their car with their left hand? Left handed people have to go into contortions to be able to see what they're writing and write without smearing what they've written. I'd have been doing them a favor if I would have persisted. They both use their right hands for mousing, so they certainly could have learned to write with the same hand.
 

Reliant

Diamond Member
Mar 29, 2001
3,843
0
76
Originally posted by: Ornery
Originally posted by: Reliant
Originally posted by: Ornery
My sons were born bald. Don't which way their hair swirls now, but I'll check when they get home. They both ended up left handed somehow. I tried like crazy to get them to at least use their right hands for writing, but no go. Both have crappy handwriting, even worse than mine! Neither my wife, nor I are left handed, and neither are our parents. My wife's brother is left handed though.

Why would you try to make them right-handed?
Where did I say I "tried to make them right handed"? I said I tried to get them to write with their right hands. Helluva lot easier, since you have to write from left to right, no matter which handedness you are. Left hande people have to go into contortions to be able to see what they're writing and write without smearing what they've written.

Well, you said "try to make them write with their right." Same thing to me. :p I can understand about the whole inconvenience issue, but us lefties have been dealing with it for a while now.
 

Reliant

Diamond Member
Mar 29, 2001
3,843
0
76
Originally posted by: Ornery
How many of you left handers use your right hand for your mouse?

Me. Too much of a pain to find left handed stuff for the computer, and I don't want to move the mouse and keyboard around everytime I'm in the computer lab.
 

Analog

Lifer
Jan 7, 2002
12,755
3
0
Originally posted by: Ornery
yellowfiero started this poll, too:You seem to put a lot of time in this subject. Why?

Wow, you looked it up :)


I am left handed and very proud of it, and I find it interesting living in a right-handed world. So this handedness stuff interests me...

I have also noticed that many engineers are left handed. A study on that would be interesting.