01 April 2011
Identical Twins Don’t Share The Same DNA!
Two children created from the same egg, the same sperm and they share the same placenta. They look the same, they are identical, even more curious is that they often act in a similar way. Beware, this can form basis of so many April fools day jokes.
Yet ask a parent and there is something, something small that distinguishes one from the other. For one mother I asked it was a facial expression and slightly different setting around the cheeks that makes one easily identified from the other.
Its been assumed that with such a shared biological history identical twins would have exactly the same DNA, 100% identical. But in research released yesterday by the University of Western Ontario, Canada, Dr Shiva Singh has discovered that indeed it seems identical twins are not in fact identical at all.
In ground breaking research the Molecular Geneticist Dr Singh researched over 1 million genetic markers of identical twins, and their parents to find that in fact the twins would display around a 12% variation in DNA.
After a fertilized egg separates to become two, Dr Singh explains, each cell continues to divide and develop as the fetus grows within the womb. It’s at this stage that many variations can occur.
The Canadian research was intended to explore the genetic sequencing of schizophrenia by using the DNA of twins.
The argument was that if identical twins share exactly the same DNA then both twins should have an equal predisposition to the illness. Yet in other research it’s been shown that risk of both twins getting the disease is as low as 50%.
“We started with the belief that monozygotic [Identical] twins are genetically
identical, so if one member of identical twins has schizophrenia, then
the risk for the other twin should be 100 percent, if it’s all due to
genes,” stated Dr Singh in a statement released by the University of Western Ontario.
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