Are Identical Twins Identical?

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My mom is a twin, and ever since I was born it was hard to tell her and my aunt apart. Now it is a little easier since they got older but I've always wondered, how identical are they? Only a couple years ago I learned (on CSI) that identical twins had the same exact DNA. This made me wonder, since they have the same DNA shouldn't they become the same person? The twin studies done here at the U of M and other universities have pioneered this road to discover that very question.
I was surprised at how simple and ingenious the method of answering this question was. Compare monozygotic twins who had the same DNA and upbringing compared to dizygotic twins who have half the DNA but still the same upbringing to see how much DNA really effects outcome. Then have a control of adopted children who have no DNA similarities but same upbringing. As if that was not enough, researchers compared identical twins who where separated at birth and then brought them back together to have 100% shared DNA but different environments. Just like the slides in class showed and the book says, there was .7 correlation between identical twin IQ where only .3 to .4 in fraternal twins. This held true for identical twins who were separated at birth also. As seen in class, adopted children IQ is only slightly correlated.
This help answer my question how much is nurture and how much is truly nature. I still wonder though how many other things like preference and attitudes are genetic compared to environmental. Twin studies are a great way of seeing how simple, logical steps can lead to conclusions of some of life's questions. (my mom and her sister in the picture)janice and janell.JPG

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Thank for shareing your family's story. I am so interesting in twin,especially identical twins. when I study in my high school, I meet a twins, they look the same, I asked them if one is cut finger did the other one can feel? sometimes they say yes sometimes they say no, are they real a one person? or are they share one heart. I really want to know, I love twins very much. Because I feel they are magical.

Thank for shareing your family's story. I am so interesting in twin,especially identical twins. when I study in my high school, I meet a twins, they look the same, I asked them if one is cut finger did the other one can feel? sometimes they say yes sometimes they say no, are they real a one person? or are they share one heart. I really want to know, I love twins very much. Because I feel they are magical.

Sometime twins will claim to feel each other's pain but that claim has never been backed up. When we play team games like Pictionary or other games, they joke about having psychic abilities but we still beat them! They don't share one heart just one genome. They are very interesting and let us into the world of nature verses nurture.

I think that the identical twins separated at birth studies are really interesting. Although being separated the twins still had similar personalities and interests. It makes sense that the twins would be different in some ways because they could have been raised in different parts of the country with families that have different values.

The thought of Identical twins made me think of all the things that they say about them like having their own language, being able to tell what each other is thinking, and also being the exactly the same (personality wise). Those things that people always say made me think deep about what it would be like if I had a twin. But I don't believe in those sayings that they say about identical twins.

Twin studies also interest me primarily because I have twin cousins and have always been amazed at how similar they are. Besides there identical looks, they share many similarities in other areas. For one, their personalities are very similar. They are both vey outgoing and personable people. However, much of their family is this way as well. Additionally, the share similar music tastes and played the same sport. Like the last example thought, their family shares much of the same music interests as they do. Overall, I wonder whether my twin cousins were most impacted by their genetics or the environment. As it stands now, I can see it going either way.

Very good post. I really liked this one because my closest friends are actually identical twins, and I also know a set of fraternal twins too. I've often thought about how similar the identical twins are to each other... Obviously they are identical in appearance but sometimes I think about how they are alike intellectually. They both scored the same on their ACT's. They had roughly the same GPA's and are interested in accounting. They are both athletic and very outgoing. I've even noticed they say the same exact things sometimes. I will ask one of them a question about something and when I ask the other twin the same question, they more often than not give the same response, or something similar to it. It is sort of mystifying and uncanny sometimes. To think that two human beings share the same exact genes, look 100% identical, and mostly behave in the same manner is pretty remarkable. I'm sure you have noticed some of these things with your mother and aunt, too.

I have had to fortune of growing up with several friends who were all twins. However only one of these pairs were identical twins, and I must say it fascinates me how similar they are to each other. Obviously their appearance is a given similarity, but they also had the exact same friends (which could be expected as well), exact same courses throughout school, and are even attending college together. To this day I can still not tell them apart. Even their sense of humor and interests are the same. Although they are not the EXACT same person, it is so crazy to me how alike they really are. I also have friends who are fraternal twins, and they are in no way similar looking, and share very few of the same interests and friends, unlike the identical twins.

I'm a twin (fraternal) as well and I even see major similarities between me and Brady. Our taste for food is almost identical and we have the same qualities we like our significant girls to have. We are very different in many ways though. I have always wanted to see what it was like if we were born identical and see in which ways we are more alike then we are currently. Being in psychology, I naturally find these studies interesting because not everyone can stay they have a twin. If your a twin you understand how cool it is.

This is very interesting to me because I am actually an identical twin. My sister and I have a lot in common. We share the same interests, fears, ideas, and generally the same friends. However, we are not the same person. The similarities between us are easily explained through genetics but I have always curious as to why we are different in some aspects. If our DNA is the same then what affects the aspects that are different between us?

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This page contains a single entry by seube020 published on April 9, 2012 12:08 PM.

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