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Issue 22, March 2019

In this edition:

Semi-identical twins identified in Australia for the first time 

Did you know there is an extremely rare type of twinning called sesquizygotic, or semi-identical, twins? A boy/girl pair in Queensland are the first case of sesquizygotic twins to be identified in Australia. The twins are identical on their mother’s side but share only part of their father’s DNA. Researchers from UNSW and QUT report on this exceptional case, also known as a third type of twinning.  Read more

What causes growing pains and restless legs syndrome?

A major new Australia-wide study is looking at the causes of growing pains and the related condition, restless legs syndrome, by studying families of adult twins. Previous research has found some people with RLS experience pain and others don’t. This study will look closely at these two different types of RLS and their relationship to growing pains. By improving our understanding of these conditions, researchers are hoping to improve diagnosis and treatment of sufferers. 

You and your family can participate in this study whether or not you have experienced RLS or growing pains.  It is open to any twin adult aged 30-55 years. Learn more here

Insights into how the adolescent brain develops

We know that remarkable changes take place in brain structure during adolescence.  A new Queensland twin study is seeking to better understand how these changes contribute to thinking, reasoning, social interactions, emotional control and other behaviours. It is hoped the research findings will help to improve people’s health and wellbeing in the future. Learn more here

Top things twins hate to hear

Have you heard it all – people asking the same (annoying) questions and making the same (uninformed) comments about what it must be like to be a twin? A recent story on our Facebook led to an avalanche from twins of the questions and comments that they hate the most!  Let us know if you have any others here

Is nature or nurture making us sick?

Our genes tend to influence the diseases that afflict us more than our environment on average, a large study of 56,000 twin pairs across 560 diseases and conditions has found. But drill down to particular diseases, and the relative contribution of each varies - with brain disorders having the strongest genetic influence while eye disorders and respiratory diseases more influenced by the environment. Read more

And even more studies to join in……

Our stories above highlight current studies seeking twins. And there are many more with 2019 being one our busiest ever with many new studies now open for all ages. 
Learn more about our studies for children (e.g. adolescent brain health, restless legs syndrome, speech disorders, temperament) and adults (e.g. restless legs syndrome, men’s health, brain ageing, breast cancer, health and lifestyle, singing ability, menopause and bone health). Often it is as simple as completing an online questionnaire but this can be invaluable to research. Read more

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Copyright 2017: Twins Research Australia, Level 3, 207 Bouverie Street, Carlton, Victoria 3010. TRA is a national resource supported by a Centre of Research Excellence Grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council and administered by the University of Melbourne.

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