What may be needed to transform human arms into wings

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London, April 1 : A reconstructive surgeon at the University of Wisconsin in Madison has come up with an explanation as to what may be required to transform human arms into wings.

Samuel Poore says that a surgery may be helpful in modelling the arms on the wings of Archaeopteryx, the earliest bird that had a shoulder much closer to humans than the shoulders of better-flying modern birds.

The researcher-who studied the mechanisms of bird flight under Ted Goslow of Brown University, Rhode Island, before he became interested in hand surgery-says that the first step would be to fuse the outer set of wrist bones and the hand bones to create a bird-like carpometacarpus, the third bone in a chicken wing.

He says that the thumb remains free, like the alula that helps guide bird flight, but other fingers would be fused together.

Thereafter, he adds, rearrange the muscle and skin to allow articulation of the new bone arrangement.

Poore, however, admits that a researcher may have to face great difficulty when it comes to feathering the wings.

According to him, hair grows in different skin layers to feathers and the two consist of different types of keratin.

He says that it is unclear as to how one can be converted into the other.

Poore insists that trying to have oneself converted into a bird will add up to more trouble than it is worth, and suggests that people wanting angel wings better rent a costume.

"Humans should remain human, while letting birds be birds and angels be angels," New Scientist quoted him as saying.

Poore's study report has been published in the Journal of Hand Surgery.

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