They said it was their family curse: a rare congenital deformity called syndactyly, in which the thumb and index finger are fused together on one or both hands. Ten members of the extended clan were affected, and with each new birth, they told Dr. Stefan Mundlos of the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, the first question was always: “How are the baby’s hands? Are they normal?”
"A Family’s Shared Defect Sheds Light on the Human Genome" is from the January 09, 2017 Science section of The New York Times. It was written by Natalie Angier and narrated by Caroline Miller.