Did You Know There’s Two of You?

Who are these freaky clones of nature called identical twins? And why are people so fascinated by them? Stories about twins date back to the beginning of recorded history. From the Epic of Gilgamesh in 1200 BCE to Identically Different by Tim Spector in 2012, poets, prophets, saints and scientists have all attempted to portray or explain the unique phenomena that results when a single fertilized human egg splits in two. Identical twins occur about once every 250 births, and share virtually the same genetic code, making them about a third as common as fraternal twins, who descend from two separately fertilized eggs and share only half their DNA.

Even the terminology for the science of twins is fascinating: “didymology,” (didymos is the Greek word for twin,) “gemellology,” (from geminous, meaning twin as in Gemini of the zodiac,)  and the one my sister and I personally prefer, “twinology,”  (twin expertise by nature of being one.)

So as the resident twinologists of this website, my twin and I will populate this section with fun facts and mysteries about twins, links to other twin information and websites, and our own experiences in the unique world of identical twinship.

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A Thing or Two About Twins — National Geographic

“They have the same piercing eyes. The same color hair. One may be shy, while the other loves meeting new people. Discovering why identical twins differ—despite having the same DNA—could reveal a great deal about all of us.”




Identical Twins: Pinpointing Environmental Impact on the Epigenome

“Because identical twins develop from a single zygote, they have the same genome. This removes genetics as a variable telling scientists that the differences they observe between the individuals are caused almost solely by environmental factors. Recent studies have shown that many of these environmentally induced differences are acquired via the epigenome.”


Human Genetics: How are human clones different from identical twins?  HowStuffWorks

“So would having a clone be like having an identical twin? Genetically, the answer is a resounding “sort of.” Practically speaking, the answer is “no way.” The age difference between twins is generally a matter of minutes, not decades.”
(Lamb, Robert.  “Would having your own clone be like having an identical twin?”  11 August 2008.  HowStuffWorks.com. <http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/genetic/clone-identical-twin.htm>  25 November 2014.)