3 Burst results for "Twins Research Australia"
"twins research australia" Discussed on Science Friction
"And they hypothesis? It proved true. Yes, they found that there was a difference in a few hundred locations around the genome that made identical twins different from fraternal twins and from singletons. So something on top of the genes was acting as a memory of splitting. As if they were sort of a signature in the epigenetics of identical twins. Yes. Yes, and they in their own study. They actually had the idea. Oh, could we do a signature test of identical twins? And they showed through some clever mathematics that within their sample that you could roughly estimate where someone was identical or fraternal or not. We still don't know if this epigenetic signature of identical twins is a cause or a consequence of the exploiting event. But these are the questions that researchers are now beginning to ask. And this test they've created, it wouldn't just apply to twins. Because it's possible that anyone could have been an identical twin at some point in their development. We think that up to 9 tenths of twin pregnancies in 9 out of ten cases, one of the twins disappears in early development. This is so called vanishing twin syndrome. Yes, it's called vanishing twin syndrome. And it's difficult to actually put a figure, but the best estimate at the moment is this happens in 9 out of ten twin pregnancies identical to improves, which means for every twin Bond, there's another 9 singletons out there that never knew they were a twin. So people like me who used to have dreams that there was another me in the bed line beside him when I was in childhood I used to have this recurring dream. I could test yeah, I could test this idea that maybe it was all just weird dreams or maybe I had a distant memory that I shared the room with a twin. So if I took such a test and if it was proven to work, then I could test that my own hypothesis that I was after conception, I was part of an identical twin. And I think it would be academically interesting to just know how many vanished co twins there are out there. While Jeff Craig says that tests like this one which involve multiple genes are never a 100% accurate. He thinks that a test of decent quality could be available to the public within 5 to ten years. And it's not just personal or academic interest at stake here. It could be some medical implications, too. We know that some developmental disorders such as cerebral palsy. Higher risk of cerebral palsy if you're a twin. So in the future, if there's a reliable test for identical twinning, it could be something that's done at birth to tell whether you're at higher risk for a condition like cell palsy. And finally, doctor Craig knew this question of the splitting that's at the core of what makes and creates identical twins. Do you think there will be more research into this area? Is there at least a current of interest that will mean it's something that researchers continue to look at? Yes, I've been part of discussions on this, and it is the researchers ask scratching their heads and they're taking input from different researchers and so what should we do next? What's our next plan? And so definitely there's definitely a momentum now. And as it's been published, there will be other twin researchers around the world with their own ideas. I guess everyone like everyone likes a good mystery. It's great to have a long-standing mystery slowly unraveled. All right, ready, got your broadcast voice on. No, but I'm gonna try. All right. So nervous. Our thanks go to Jeff Craig, Professor of epigenetics and cell biology at deakin university school of medicine. Jif's also the deputy director of twins research Australia. You can follow him on Twitter at doctor chromo. Jeff and twins research Australia are always looking for twins interested in joining upcoming twin studies. You can find out more at twins dot org. Perfect. Joe winner is our brilliant script editor, engineering by Matthew sigley. Given that today's episode is a family affair, thanks.
"twins research australia" Discussed on Science Friction
"Prove that. I'm Elizabeth coalesce and I am an identical twin. I'm also a mirror twin. And that's what we're talking about today on science fiction with Jeff Craig, he's a Professor of epigenetics that they can university and he's a twin researcher. And Jeff tells me that the rate of identical twinning sits at around one in 250 births. And it's more or less consistent around the world. For fraternal twins, that rate varies widely. From one in 200 births right up to one in every 20 births in some parts of the world. And in recent years, researchers have learned a huge amount about the biological origins of fraternal twins. This has been, I think some of the more exciting research that's come through about 5 years ago. There was some research came from genetic studies comparing families with higher proportions of fraternal twins. And what came out of that are genes associated with fertility? And fertility hormones. So what it comes down to is that some women are more likely to produce two eggs at the same time. Instead of one egg every month, not all the time, but more than average. And there's a number of factors that can influence this and some even think that diet in some African countries like, you know, it's been proposed that high diet in yams in South African countries may be an environmental component that may increase fertility and ovulating two eggs. And so there's been some evidence to back that up that yes fraternal twins often run in families for that reason. But whether identical twinning is a heritable trait. That's proving a much harder question to answer. Though it's not stopping some from trying. Well, we first off, I think we know that it is very rare to find clusters of identical twins and by clusters, I mean extended families with at least say three to four pairs of identical tunes in the family, but really it is rare. And the genetics that we talking about probably is not something that occurs very commonly. And Jeff, I hear that there is a twin hunter. Now, he's interested in whether there are unique families around the world where this is happening. What does he get up to? Yes, the researcher's name is Bruno riverside. He's a developmental biologist. He tries to understand what happens very early on when we develop. He looks at animal studies and he also looks for remote communities, which have a much higher incidence of identical twins. Which would imply that that particular community have some genes that code for something that affects early development and causes splitting. And so he's still on that long quest and I think he's found two remote communities. Well, he does this goes in. I guess permission to collect cheeks swabs, and then reads sequences to genome and looks very carefully to see what the differences are between these communities and everyone else. And he's got clues so far but it really hasn't come out and said, yes, I found I found the gene. There's never ever one gene for anything, but I found a gene that contributes to twinning. So it's ongoing research, but I think I love the idea of having the license licensed for sure the world looking for remote communities. I've always wanted an excuse to do that. Professional twin hunter. Yeah, I like it. Yeah. He's always on the lookout. He said, you know, that criteria of at least three or four pairs of identical twins he said you'll fly out and take 6 swabs if he finds more families like that. So far, I haven't found any two twins research Australia. But you never know there may be out there. Another statement that I'd heard all my life as an identical twin was that my sister and I were a complete DNA match. So I asked Jeff about this and he tells me that our understanding of that too has changed in recent years. Research into genetic difference in twins has been we're being drip fed that the last ten years in the genetic era. But only when we've been able to sequence all 3 billion base pairs of our genetics as the result being coming through. And a big study last year found that the average identical twin pair, it's actually different in about probably 15 locations in the genome. That's out of 3 billion, you say? Yeah, out of 3 billion. It's not a lot. And that can be anywhere between zero differences and a few hundred differences. Now the big question is where those are much of our genome is either Joan Carr antiques depending on your academic point of view. There's very little that actually codes for anything. However, it would be great for such a study to focus on identical twins and say, well, where are these 15 genetic differences? Are there any examples where researchers had found that it did code for something and led researchers in an interesting direction? Yeah, I think in that case, there was a single genetic change that was in a coding region, important region of the gene, and it was in a gene that was known to cause epilepsy in singleton. So yes, in this case, a one genetic mistake in a known epilepsy gene was shown to cause epilepsy in one twin of a pair. But despite all these recent discoveries, there remains a core mystery at the center of twin research that continues to confound science. It's probably the most fundamental question when it comes to identical twins. Just how and why? Does a fertilized egg split into? I find the very idea of the splitting process to be quite miraculous. Yes, and it is the only it's so miraculous that the only other mammal to have identical twins is the 9 banded armadillo. They actually have identical quads and octuplets. Nobody knows why we have this affiliation with armadillo with ambiguities, but it is actually quite rare in the mammalian world. But no one's ever seen a human twin split. But then late last year, a team in the Netherlands made an incredible discovery about identical twins. It had been a desert of research for many years, and just any clue to the formation of high technical twins was breakthrough. It was an international study. Didn't look at genetics, but they looked at epigenetics, basically these other dimmer switches that act on top of the genes to turn them off and on or up and down. And they compared epigenetics from about 3000 twins, some of which were identical others fraternal and they also included some singleton in there. So they were saying, what is this molecular event that makes identical twins special? The researchers hypothesized that the splitting event, which leads to identical twins. It could be embedded in the body's cellular memory. Every time a cell divides, the splitting would be remembered. So to speak. Not in the DNA sequence itself, but is a series of epigenetic chemical markers along the genome..
"twins research australia" Discussed on Science Friction
"Unique. We were 6 when we first attended an in person clinic for the twin study. We traveled to a grand old medical building on the fringes of Melbourne's CBD. I remember huge staircase and the polished floors, and being told that we were going to have a cheek swab taken. Oh, yes, I remember being very scared that the cheeks what was gonna hurt and then the anti climax when it was a cheeks woven. It was totally fine. It was like vaguely uncomfortable for a millisecond. Jen and I were part of a study being run by the university of Adelaide, looking at the jeans, teeth, and faces of Australian twins. The shake swap was taken for a zygosity test to confirm whether we were fraternal or identical. For total twins, the result of two eggs being fertilized by two separate sperm. For tonal twins share about the same amount of DNA a single born siblings, or singletons, as they're known in the twin research world. Identical tweens are the result of a single fertilized egg, but splits to create two embryos, so their genetic profile is a much closer match. Jen and I were never dressed the same, and we were always placed in separate classes at school, but beside our closest family and friends, just about everyone else struggled to tell us apart. And a few months after that cheek swap around the time we turned 7. The results came here. Despite what our mother had been told when we were born. Jen and I were identical. As a gossip story, turns out it's actually quite a common one among tweens. It's something researcher Jeff Craig first encountered about ten years ago at a twins festival in Melbourne. Yes, you heard me. That's absolutely a thing. And at this festival, Japanese team were offering free zygosity tests. We put an advertisement just one week before the festival on the twins research Australia website. We think, oh, and that got a handful. And we opened the doors after we set up a culture race course. And there was like a tsunami of parents and they're pushes just queuing up a big air to find out the truth. Jeff Craig is a Professor of epigenetics and cell biology at deakin university school of medicine. He's also the deputy director of twins research Australia. And Jeff was surprised at what they discovered next. Up to one third of those twins were either misinformed or just simply didn't know about their own identity whether identical African. So that's quite a lot. So not alone in being late to find that out. Yes, there's many many twins. I think our oldest twins who found out were in their 80s. Oh wow. And so we realized that there were myths going around such as if twins each had their own placenta, there must be fraternal, and we now know that it's not necessarily that way. One third of identical twins also have their own placenta. The remaining two thirds share a placenta. And I guess one of the other myths was that identical twins must be identical in every way. Including personalities teeth, et cetera, and that's not the case identical twins can be physically and behaviorally different as well. I think those were the main two myths. The study of twins has a long and at times checkered history. So Francis galton a distant cousin of Darwin was among the first to recognize the research potential of twins. A prominent figure of Victorian science, his work in the late 19th century used twins to explore the influences of heredity and environment, paving the way for the debate over nature and nurture. Into the genetic era, researchers continued to work with twins. As a kind of naturally occurring experiment. The first kind of research was asking whether a condition was more influenced by genes or environment. And even though now, we know it's always genes and environment. The knowledge genetics and knowledge of environment has been important. For example, it was suspected that smoking increased the risk of bone fracture. Researchers knew there were many things that could influence the risk of bone fracture. So in an earlier Australian twin study, they started recruiting identical twin pairs, where over a period of years, one of the twins smoked, and the other didn't. And so that particular type of model same genetics for definite environment was very informative in this case. It said there was a causative link between smoking and bone density and therefore they could conclude that smoking lower bone density is more likely to lead to osteoporosis and fractures. Because they took that genetic component away and looked only at that environment. Even before Jen and I had received our zygosity test result. We'd been contributing to our twin study in another way. By collecting our baby teeth, we were each given a small jar, clear plastic with a yellow lead, the kind used to take pathology samples. And inside was a little slip of paper, showing two neat semicircles of teeth, sketched in a line drawing. And do you remember collecting our teeth for this study? I do remember evening the taste and now I look back on it because you keep your teeth for the tooth fairy anyway. I think I just thought that this strange little container with the yellow lid was was just an extension. It was like a little tooth vault. Any time either of us lost a tooth, we were asked to store it in a little tooth Volt, and to write the date that it had fallen out next to the corresponding tooth on the diagram. By the way, we asked the two theory to please respect science and leave the coins, but also leave the teeth. We did this over a series of years, collecting, dating, storing teeth away. And soon, a pattern emerged. Not long before finding out, I can remember, you know, losing yet another baby tooth. And us losing those teeth within a day of each other. And they're happening on opposite sides of our mouth. There was these kind of breadcrumbs that we are linked in some quite extraordinary way. And this kept happening. Our teeth following the same eerie pattern over and again. Jen would lose a tooth on the right side of her mouth, and somewhere between a day and two weeks later, I would lose the same tooth, but on the left side of my mouth. And as we started learning to write in developing our fine motor skills, other signals became clear. Jen was predominantly left handed, where I almost always worked on the right. And somewhere in those data collecting years, we would hold this likely had meaning. Jen and I were mirror twins. When we look in the mirror and a single tip, well, we, when I look at the mirror, we see ourselves. We can identify that's my left side. That's the mirror of it. Well, with twins, it's like the mirror is not there in twins are looking at each other. And there's a lot of physical features such as birthmarks and hair walls, et cetera. And even internally, there's been some with the organ positions, et cetera. So it's kind of an experiment for twins to do if they haven't done that to see how similar are on the opposite sides. Science doesn't know who very much about Mira twins. Identifying them is actually quite subjective. There's no official diagnostic criteria. And for this reason, Miro twins have often been seen as a messy group in terms of research. Because myriad traits aren't consistent across twin peers, reproducible research is difficult, ordering on the impossible. We really don't know much about it at all. We know it happens in around one in four identical twins. And everything else is guesswork, we assume it's because when they identical twins split is maybe just after the time where the genes that determine left and right start being switched on, but we.