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Why do some humans have extra ribs?


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#1 Mr Rayon

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 03:15 PM

I heard there was a statistic saying that 1 in 20 individuals have an extra pair of ribs or more. I'm wondering whether anybody knows why different people have different numbers of ribs? Could this be because of mutations (e.g. from exposures to radioactivity, excessive mobile phone use etc) through a changed more modern way of living? Why do some people have extra ribs?
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#2 Mr Skeptic

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 04:29 PM

Well it won't be because of mobile phone use. The sun is far more dangerous than those, with both higher energy radiation and much much more of it.
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#3 insane_alien

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 06:46 PM

you'll see varying numbers of ribs in humans long before mobile phones existed(not that mobile phones would cause such a thing). you could probably go as far back as to the point where our ancestors first developed something that could be descripbed as a rib.

its just the usual genetic variation in people. the same way some people have extra digits, different colours of hair, skin, eyes and so on.
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#4 tomgwyther

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 06:53 PM

From Wikipedia

A cervical rib is a supernumerary (or extra) rib which arises from the seventh cervical vertebra. It is a congenital abnormality located above the normal first rib. A cervical rib is present in only about 1 in 500 (0.2%) of people;[1] in even rarer cases, an individual may have two cervical ribs.
The presence of a cervical rib can cause a form of thoracic outlet syndrome due to compression of the lower trunk of the brachial plexus or subclavian artery. These structures are entrapped between the cervical rib and scalenus muscle.


It appears that the condition is congenital. Also, excess bone growth can occur after repeat trauma.
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#5 sparticle

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 03:07 PM

People with Rh- blood typically have an extra rib.
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#6 Blahah

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 04:40 PM

I heard there was a statistic saying that 1 in 20 individuals have an extra pair of ribs or more. I'm wondering whether anybody knows why different people have different numbers of ribs? Could this be because of mutations (e.g. from exposures to radioactivity, excessive mobile phone use etc) through a changed more modern way of living? Why do some people have extra ribs?


Despite (misplaced) popular opinion, dozens of large scale studies and meta analyses have concluded that there is no evidence of long term mobile phone use being associated with an increased risk of disease, including brain cancers, or mutations.
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#7 sparticle

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 05:51 PM

Despite (misplaced) popular opinion, dozens of large scale studies and meta analyses have concluded that there is no evidence of long term mobile phone use being associated with an increased risk of disease, including brain cancers, or mutations.


I disagree with that and so does the world health organization:

http://www.naturalne...ain_tumors.html
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#8 Blahah

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 06:23 PM

I disagree with that and so does the world health organization:

http://www.naturalne...ain_tumors.html

I'm sorry but that's a link to a 'natural health' website which has nothing to do with science. There is no such report by the WHO. The WHO have sponsored two large-scale studies which both found no link between mobile phone use and cancers or any other health risk apart from increased risk of having a car crash whilst using a mobile phone.

Here's the WHO summary, and here's their Q&A on the subject.

The Wikipedia article also has a fair coverage and links to a lot of further reading.

On what do you base your disagreement?

Edited by Blahah, 14 February 2011 - 06:25 PM.

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#9 insane_alien

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 06:33 PM

probably data from those who claim to suddenly be allergic the electromagnetic waves. despite their complete inability to determine whether an antenna is transmitting or not in double blind studies.

also, it seems they only feel the effects when they THINK the antenna is on. not whether it is actually on or not. seems pretty conclusive that it is psychosomatic.

but this has no bearing on the appearance of extra ribs.

people have extra ribs because their genes tell them to grow some extra ribs. its not an uncommon mutation and pretty much every animal with ribs has members with an unusual rib count.

also, extra ribs have been spotted since modern technology was a sharp rock (ie since so long ago that we weren't the species we are today) unless you think we were texting each other back before we had opposable thumbs then its feck all to do with technology.

Edited by insane_alien, 14 February 2011 - 06:36 PM.

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#10 Blahah

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 07:02 PM

People with Rh- blood typically have an extra rib.

Sorry to pull you up twice in the same thread, but what's your source for this information? I could only find a dubious Yahoo! Answers thread about it, and nothing in the scientific literature. I highly doubt this is true, since almost all the negative prejudices about RH- blood group come from David Icke's stupid 'reptilian' paranoid conspiracy (warning, the link points to one of the most misguided communities on the internet).
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#11 Moontanman

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 07:33 PM

I'm not worried about cancer from mobile phone use but all that blood that rushes out of the opposite ear when I talk on the phone is annoying.... :doh:
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#12 insane_alien

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 08:03 PM

I'm not worried about cancer from mobile phone use but all that blood that rushes out of the opposite ear when I talk on the phone is annoying.... :doh:


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#13 sparticle

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 02:39 AM

Sorry to pull you up twice in the same thread, but what's your source for this information? I could only find a dubious Yahoo! Answers thread about it, and nothing in the scientific literature. I highly doubt this is true, since almost all the negative prejudices about RH- blood group come from David Icke's stupid 'reptilian' paranoid conspiracy (warning, the link points to one of the most misguided communities on the internet).


Look I"m not a scientiest, I just read a lot. I'm fully aware that a great deal of that may be total BS. The reason I even came across that info on the extra rib, over and over actually and from some of my FB friends, is that I was looking up some of my own issues. I have really low blood pressure and low body temp, I came across the link with Rh- people and I am. Then I read some of the other common traits and I had others. I don't' have an extra rib that I know of and my hands were too cold to count, but I do have extra roots in all my teeth. So I thought it was interesting and passed it along. It's just for fun. I slink away to happier forums.
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#14 Blahah

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 12:49 PM

OK, well I certainly have no intention of driving you away from the forums or dissuading you from learning about things. It's just that, this being a science forum, it's reasonable to expect to have to support your statements with evidence. I would encourage anyone to use the same standards in their own search for knowledge: don't take rumour or unsubstantiated claims at face value, only trust verifiable sources of information. If you have some information and it's not from a reliable source, you shouldn't state it as fact. Please don't feel that you have to leave for that reason, it would be much more beneficial to you and others if you stayed and made rigorous contributions.
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#15 CRAZY GRANDMA

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 07:13 AM

I don't think that cell phones or exposure to radioactivity has anything to do with extra ribs; I believe that it has to do with genetics. The reason I say that is my mother was not expose to radiation from cell phone or anything else like that, I was told a few years ago that I have two sets of extra ribs. Cell phones came to the state where I was born many years after my birth.




I heard there was a statistic saying that 1 in 20 individuals have an extra pair of ribs or more. I'm wondering whether anybody knows why different people have different numbers of ribs? Could this be because of mutations (e.g. from exposures to radioactivity, excessive mobile phone use etc) through a changed more modern way of living? Why do some people have extra ribs?


Edited by CRAZY GRANDMA, 17 April 2012 - 07:15 AM.

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#16 z9999GhZbRaiNzZ89

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 04:57 PM

it is possable that people are evolving to have more protection of their organs and so in like 1000000 yrs that statistic maybe 1 in 2 people

Edited by z9999GhZbRaiNzZ89, 19 April 2012 - 04:58 PM.

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#17 doG

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 07:19 PM

I heard there was a statistic saying that 1 in 20 individuals have an extra pair of ribs or more.

Cuz that's where women come from. Ain't you read your bible?
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#18 John Cuthber

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 08:31 PM

On a related note, can anyone explain how come most of us have the right number of ribs?
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#19 Girlatthewindow

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 07:05 PM

I have an extra rib and would like to know whether other people with extra ribs share the same traits:
My blood type is Rh-; I have low blood sugar, low blood pressure, low iron count, weakness in my hands, right hand (the side of the extra rib) is redder and bigger than the left hand, I suffer with asthma, my kidneys seem intolerant, get painful symptoms in right shoulder when I pick up heavy objects, cant do work above my head, am allergic to pollen and dust, have brown eyes, brown hair, am artistic and creative. Other than than that I'm normal :)
I have a theory that if we all share the same traits, maybe we share some sort of gene?
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