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.
If you have any comments, or even a correction, on this
article please email Mary Banfield: firstname.lastname@example.org
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For other major stories:
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& Johnson: Birth Defects Rise After Topamax Says US FDA
Dietary Recommendations For Pregnant And Breast Feeding Mothers
Many thanks to Shelley Thompson for sending in the following correction!
Identical twins (monozygotic twins) don’t necessarily share a placenta.