Twins Are Amazing


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01-johanna-eva-gill.jpg                                       Photo Courtesy of National Geographic Magazine   

      When pictures were juxtaposed across the page, I was staggered to see the unidentifiable similarity of the twins. Their biological traits and facial attributes were strikingly alike as if they came from the same set of mold. Not only patent characteristics are identical, some recessive properties were also marvelously tallied with one another including the distribution of facial hairs, the width of the forehead and, even surprisingly, the map of wrinkles.

      It is no wonder that dizygotic twins significantly outnumbers monozygotic twins, which is partially engendered by the increasing consultation of the fertility drugs to exploit women's fertility. Since the dizygotic twins are procreated when the zygote splits into halves, each of which carries the identical 46 chromosomes from both parents equally, the mechanical exemplification of this phenomenon would induce the sameness of the congenital predispositions. Therefore, monozygotic twins have given scientists who espouse the doctrine that the very persona of an individual is modified by social experiences, furthering the research of the impacts toward a human being through the exploration of the physical surroundings. However, there are numerous instances that proved even each of the identical twins was raised up in different family settings, they still looked extremely similar when they reunion by chance.

    While the "nature vs. nurture" battle over human's development has been fortified by scholars on each side, the pitched debate has become a predicament. Though the contemporaneous knowledge has seemingly acquiesced that the rearing process relates to both heredity and environments, this debate has not ceased completely. Oftentimes, one can still hear the skirmish over the influence of nature and nurture to judge which one plays more in a particular attribute.

                      Photos courtesy of National Geographic Magazine.Left,Cole;Right,Christopher.

l-cole.jpg

r-christopher.jpg

Those two across the page are monozygotic twins,but my guess is that most of you won't think them as twins at your first glimpse.Well,how does this happen?The third perspective, epigenetics, came to rescue as a brand-new science in attempt to expound the dominant factors of the individual's construction by standing off the interplay between the nature and nurture. Differed from the two precursors, epigenetics endeavors to spot the implicit linchpin which connects the environment and genes while retaining its disciplinary distinction as a newborn field. Based on the fundamental structure of the chromosome, epigenetic specialists appeared more like a "trivia solvers". Provided that monozygotic twins were born with the same DNA arrangement, it sounds reasonable that twins would indicate congenial manners throughout their lives. Nevertheless, a convincing amount of evidences have disclosed an undeniable fact that identical twins can become surprisingly different as they grow older. Epigenetic tags are the cause of this polarity, which express genes to different degree while maintaining the DNA constitution.

   The picture below is a demonstration of the role of epigenetic tags in cancer development.

Epigenetics Mechinism.jpg

             Source Link:http://www.abcam.com/index.html?pageconfig=resource&rid=10755&pid=10628

       Therefore, giving that DNA will not be revised by the affiliation of tags, scientists have slighted this immanent performance for more than a century since English scientist Francis Galton initially mooted the phrase "nature and nurture" in 1875. When gene expressions are borne longer as a person ages, tagging positions begins to alter because of the environmental influences coupled with a series of random mutations. Over an arbitrarily long period, the modulation of tagging overtly signifies the differentiation of identical twins, thus becoming "at odds". Covering both nature and nurture ethos, epigenetics has delivered a plausible explication of whereas some identical twins look congenial, the others are complementary.

      What's your general impression of twins you've met in your life?Have you got a good view of them side by side?Welcome to share your discoveries below!

    More interesting comparisons between monozygotic twins can be found one click away:

4 Comments

Harry,

Twins are indeed very interesting. My two best friends are twins and they look nothing alike. One is 6'4" with black hair and the other one is 5'10" with blonde hair. When they tell others they are twins, people have no idea and I can definitely understand the confusion. I was always interested into how they could possibly be twins since they have such distinct differences but the epigenetic tags is the reason why.

Twins are especially interesting when they are separated at birth. Here is a case study where two men were separated at birth and were found to have striking physical and psychological similarities. When reunited they were found to have chosen the same occupation as firefighters, have the same balding spots, and have various other habitual habits.

*habitual similarities

Well, I guess it's true that you learn something about yourself every day, because your blog post just did that to me. I am a twin, and that diagram of the epigenetic tags really showed me why me and my brother dont really look alike. My twin brother and I are fraternal and practically two different people, looks and personality. On the contrary, my general impression of twins is the exact opposite (with the exception of one pair of twins that I know). Every pair of twins that I have came across in my life are nothing like me and my brother. They look exactly the same, they act exactly the same, and they practically are the same person in two different bodies. So, i found a study about two twin girls and found it to be very interesting.

http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/w/wright-twins.html

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