Twins become more different as they age

Jul 06, 2005

The differences in identical twins increase with age, say researchers at the Spanish National Cancer Center in Madrid.

Geneticists told the Washington Post the findings bolster the fledgling research field epigenetics, which examines how environmental factors and life experiences may alter a person's DNA.

Spanish researchers, who studied the DNA of more than 40 sets of identical twins, examined processes that activate or deactivate genes.

Reporting in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team said differences between twins, which are very small when they are young, increase as they age.

Scientists also found the differences between twins who were raised apart are greater than those who were reared together.

"Both nature and nurture are acting on these twins," Spanish researcher Manel Esteller said. "Epigenetics is the bridge or the interplay between them."

"This could lead to far-reaching revelations about how our environment breeds predispositions for lots of diseases, like diabetes, cancer and heart disease," John Hopkins Professor Stephen Baylin said.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: The public's political views are strongly linked to attitudes on environmental issues

Related Stories

You're as old as your stem cells

Jun 04, 2015

A special issue of Cell Stem Cell published on June 4 includes a collection of reviews and perspectives on the biology of aging.

Chance determines cell death or normal sugar consumption

Jan 17, 2014

Some cells fail by chance, and not due to a genetic defect, to properly initiate the molecular processes for the breakdown of sugar. These cells are unable to grow and subsequently die. This discovery was done by a multidisciplinary ...

First planet found around solar twin in star cluster

Jan 15, 2014

Astronomers have used ESO's HARPS planet hunter in Chile, along with other telescopes around the world, to discover three planets orbiting stars in the cluster Messier 67. Although more than one thousand ...

Recommended for you

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.