H-unique is a five year, €2.5m programme of research that will be the first multimodal automated interrogation of visible hand anatomy, through analysis and interpretation of human variation via images. It is an interdisciplinary project, supported by anatomists, anthropologists, geneticists, bioinformaticians, image analysts and computer scientists.
We will investigate the inherent and acquired variation in search of uniqueness, as the hand retains and displays a multiplicity of anatomical variants formed by different aetiologies (genetics, development, environment, accident etc). The project has arisen directly from Prof. Black’s ground-breaking research in relation to the forensic identification of individuals from images of their anatomy in child abuse cases.
To help with this research we will shortly be calling on 5,000 ‘citizen scientists’ to contribute images to the world’s first searchable database of the anatomy and variations of the human hand.