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What causes webbed toes in humans?

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Syndactyly, a condition that causes webbed or fused toes or fingers, is one of the most common types of birth abnormality.

Researchers do not understand precisely why webbed digits develop, but, in some cases, there is a definite genetic cause.



Usually, surgeons will correct webbed digits when children are quite young to prevent complications.

Most corrective surgeries are successful and give the child full function of their digits on a hand or foot that appears normal.

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What are the causes?

Syndactyly is one of the most common birth abnormalities, affecting an estimated 1 in every 2,000–3,000 children born each year.

It occurs when the toes or fingers do not separate correctly during fetal development.

Syndactyly can also occur when the skin or another body structure does not heal properly after a significant injury, such as a burn.

Syndactyly often presents as webbing, so people often refer to the condition as webbed toes or fingers.

The majority of cases of webbed toes occur when the skin fails to separate during fetal development.

However, more severe cases of syndactyly may also involve other parts of the body, including:

  • bones

  • blood vessels

  • muscles

  • nervesSyndactyly may appear as a symptom of another syndrome or medical condition, but most cases are non-syndromic, meaning that they have no apparent cause.

    Currently, there are 300 different syndromes linked to syndactyly, most of which are genetic conditions. The most common ones include:

    • Down syndrome

    • Apert syndrome

    • Crouzon syndrome

    There is a well-established genetic basis for some types of syndactyly, and most people would consider webbed toes to be an inherited condition. However, researchers still do not understand the full range of factors that cause the condition to develop because each case is different.

    According to the available research, boys are more likely to develop syndactyly than girls. And Caucasian children seem to be more likely to develop webbed digits than children from other ethnic backgrounds.

    Although it can affect any of the toes or the spaces between them, syndactyly most frequently develops between the second and third toes.

    What are the main symptoms?

    Each person with syndactyly tends to experience different symptoms, as webbed toes may be:

    • Unilateral or bilateral: Impacting only one side of the body or both.

    • Severe, moderate, or mild: With digits almost entirely fused, with digits partially fused, or with only minor webbing between digits.

    • Symmetric or asymmetric: Appearing alike and in the same region on both sides of the body, or appearing dissimilar or in different places on each side of the body.

    • Simple or complex: Involving only two digits or a few bones, or including multiple digits or bones.

    • Painful or asymptomatic.

    Minor cases may not interfere much with toe or foot movement and function. However, if the toes are severely webbed or fused, the condition can be disabling.

    What are the treatment options?

    In most cases, it is possible to correct webbed toes surgically, and this usually occurs between the ages of 12 and 18 months before full development has happened.

    It is best to fix webbed toes before they can cause any joint malformation.

    A doctor will usually order an X-ray or ultrasound of the webbed area to determine exactly which structures it involves and the best surgical approach.

    They may also order blood tests and chromosomal tests to check whether the webbing relates to another condition, or is syndromic, particularly if a child has other physical signs of a genetic syndrome.

    The exact surgical procedure to correct webbed toes depends on the severity of the webbing and the structures it involves.

    Typical surgical procedure

    In most cases, once the child is unconscious, the surgeon will cut through the webbing in a zigzag manner along the midline point.

    Cutting the webbing in this way will help to prevent the scarring from interfering with healthy growth and development. If any structures other than the skin are fused, the surgeon will carefully work to divide them as they make the zigzag cuts.

    The surgeon will sometimes stitch skin grafts, or transplanted pieces of healthy skin, over the top of the exposed wounds to protect them as they heal. This will also minimize scarring by reducing tension as the wound heals. The surgeon will usually take skin grafts from the child’s inner groin area or the back of the upper arm.

    They will then wrap layers of bandages around the affected area, or fix it in a cast that will cover and immobilize the corrected toes to protect them from injury as they heal. In total, most surgeries to repair webbed digits take 2–5 hours.

    Recovery time

    Most children will have to stay in the hospital for a few days after the surgery. There is usually some bruising, swelling, and nail discoloration on the toes. After discharge from the hospital, children are likely to need pain medications as they recover.

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Health & Lifestyle

Top 10 Most Beautiful Places To Visit Before You Die!

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Everyone wants to travel the world and visit the beautiful sites, but with so many places to visit where do you start? Here we come to you with the list of 10 most incredibly super awesome places to visit around the world, before you die.

Whitehaven Beach – Australia

Whitehaven-Beach_Australia

Whitehaven Beach is known for its white sands. The Beach is a 7 km stretch along Whitsunday Island. The island is accessible by boat from the mainland tourist ports of Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour, as well as Hamilton Island. The Beach was named the top Eco Friendly Beach in the world by CNN.com. Dogs are not permitted on the beach and cigarette smoking is prohibited.

Westin Maui Resort & Spa Hawaii

Westin Maui Resort & Spa Hawaii
A fantastic lobby with waterfalls and pools greets visitors to this lush Kaanapali resort where the impressive scenery, friendly service, fabulous spa and awesome swimming pools are the highlights. The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka’anapali is located along a breathtaking stretch of the gorgeous, white-sand Ka’anapali Beach.

The Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye – Scotland

The Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye - Scotland
If you are backpacking in Scotland generally or are planning a trip to the Isle of Skye then I heartily recommend that you visit the so-called Fairy Pools.The Fairy Pools is located in Cuillins Hills, Isle of Skye, Scotland. The Fairy Pools are a series of clear, cold pools and waterfalls formed as Allt Coir’ a’ Mhadaidh tumbles down from the foothills of the Black Cuillins into Glen Brittle.

Marble Caverns of Carrera Lake – Chile

Marble Caverns
Azure temple, Lake General Carrera in Patagonia, Chile, A natural wonder that could be the world’s most beautiful cave network. An Azure Temple created by nature, the walls of this network of water-filled marble caverns show just how magnificent the precious geography of our planet can be.

The Shahara Bridge – Yemen

The Shahara Bridge - Yemen
This bridge was constructed in 17th century to connect towns at the tops of mountains in the state of Yemen. Shahara Bridge built to fight against Turkish invaders. It’s a scary bridge and a popular tourist attraction.

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Havasu Falls – Grand Canyon National Park

Havasu Falls - Grand Canyon National Park
Havasu Falls is paradise on Earth. This is an absolutely amazingly beautiful waterfall located in a remote canyon of Arizona. The spectacular waterfalls and isolated community within the Havasupai Indian Reservation attract thousands of visitors each year. The Havasupai are intimately connected to the water and the land. This blue- green water is sacred to the Havasupai.

Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon – Iceland

Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon
Fjaðrárgljúfur is a canyon in south east Iceland which is up to 100 m deep and about 2 kilometres long, with the Fjaðrá river flowing through it. It is located near the Ring Road, not far from the village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur.The canyon was created by progressive erosion by flowing water from glaciers through the rocks and palagonite over millennia.

Arang Kel, Neelum Valley – Kashmir, Pakistan

Arang Kel, Neelum Valley - Kashmir, Pakistan
A Breathtaking, Lush Green Village in Neelum Valley, Kashmir. Situated at the hill top near Kel, about 1500 feet ascend from River Neelam. It is also a village full of beautiful sceneries. It is a piece of utmost beauty, one can find in Kashmir. Visit Neelum Valley for Arang Kel, a worth visiting place.

Arang Kel, also known as the Pearl of Neelum Valley. It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places to visit once in life. Its an amazing 30-45 mins trek from Kel. I must say! It’s just breathtaking.

The Dark Hedges – Northern Ireland

The Dark Hedges - Northern Ireland
This beautiful avenue of beech trees was planted by the Stuart family in the eighteenth century. The Dark Hedges is one of the most photographed natural phenomena in Northern Ireland and a popular attraction for tourists from across the world. It was intended as a compelling landscape feature to impress visitors.

This beautiful tree tunnel has been used to film a scene in HBO’s popular television series Game of Thrones. Since that the Dark Hedges became so popular, and that’s why we included it “top most beautiful places to visit before you die! In addition, the Dark Hedges have also been used in the 2017 Transformers film The Last Knight.

Coast near Marsa Matruh – Egypt

Coast near Marsa Matruh - Egypt
Mersa Matruh is a major Egyptian tourist resort and serves as a getaway resort for Europeans as well as Cairenes eager to flee the capital in the sweltering summer months. It is served by Mersa Matruh Airport. The city is known for its white soft sands and calm transparent waters.

Marsa Matruh is a cool attraction for beach lovers. It has become a destination for millions of tourists. The beach there is too good. Sugar sand, crystal clear blue water that has a coolness to it during the most hot months of the year. However, not much coral or underwater activities there.

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Carbon dioxide could help reduce belly fat

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Scientists have identified a new technique that eliminates stomach fat with the first randomised, controlled trial testing of carbon dioxide gas injections.

A report published in the Northwestern Medicine noted that the changes were modest and did not result in long-term fat reduction.

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The lead author and the vice-chair of dermatology at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Dr. Murad Alam, said, “Carboxytherapy could potentially be a new and effective means of fat reduction. It still needs to be optimised. So, it is long lasting.”

The paper was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology described the new technique as a “safe, inexpensive gas, and injecting it into fat pockets may be preferred by patients who like natural treatments.”

According to sciencedaily.com, the current technologies routinely used for non-invasive fat reduction include cryolipolysis, high intensity ultrasound, radiofrequency, chemical adipocytolysis and laser-assisted fat reduction.

The new technique, known as Carboxytherapy, has been performed primarily outside the United States, with a few clinical studies suggesting that it may provide a lasting improvement in abdominal contours.

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Researchers Identifies the genome of the most common cancer among younger men

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In the case of UNC’s testicular cancer mapping, researchers analyzed 137 testicular germ cell tumors to find unique molecular features. They discovered certain changes in the RAS gene family. These are the type of genes that make proteins involved in cell signaling pathways that control cell growth and death. Members of the RAS family include KRAS, HRAS, and NRAS, the most common oncogenes in human cancer.

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“We identified distinct molecular events that were associated with different histological types of testicular germ cell cancer,” Hoadley said. “While we found recurrent mutations in KIT, KRAS, and NRAS, they were only discovered in a subset of seminomas. However, we noted strong epigenetic components — DNA methylation and miRNA — that are likely very important in testicular germ cell tumorigenesis. We also identified a previously underappreciated subset of seminomas defined by KIT mutations that likely occur early. These tumors had a complete global lack of DNA methylation that locks them in a state with similarity to primordial germ cells.”

Hopefully, this turns out to be yet another piece in the puzzle on the road to curing cancer once and for all. While we’re still a long way from that, mapping the genome of existing cancers will give scientists far more information about exactly what it is that they’re up against.

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