Fingers that point to babies

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TRY TO read this without looking at your hands. Scientistsmay have found a means to identify a really fertile partner with a good sex drive.

In theory, the man will have ring fingers noticeably longer than his index fingers; vice-versa for the woman. And each will have fingers that match perfectly when the palms are pressed together.

Still haven't looked at your hands? Well done. The findings emerged from studies carried out at an infertility clinic by Dr John Manning, of Liverpool University's School of Biological Science. New Scientist magazine reports today that he found that men whose ring fingers were significantly longer than their index fingers had higher levels of testosterone, a key determinant of sex drive.

In women, a longer index finger indicated higher levels of oestrogen and leutinising hormone, crucial for female reproduction.

Such finger-length comparisons could be a "robust predictor" of fertility, Dr Manning reckons.

The measurements revealed that men whose hands are not a mirror image of each other had the lowest sperm counts.

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