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Issue 33, Christmas 2022

In this edition:

Best wishes for the holiday season & 2023

Our heartfelt gratitude to our members and supporters for your help throughout the year. Please enjoy the stories below about our long running and new studies, and discoveries that are helping to improve the lives of many. None of these achievements would have been possible without twins and their families. We wish you and your family a happy, safe and relaxing holiday season – and all the best in 2023.  

Please note, TRA will be closing for the Christmas/New Year holiday period, from 5.00pm Friday 16 December until Friday 13 January 2023. We will return on Monday 16 January 2023, and thank you for your patience while we respond to any queries.

Major health discoveries thanks to twins  

Our members can be very proud of their contributions to recent health discoveries through their participation in studies, two of which have run over a decade. We share some of the highlights (read more at each link):

The decade-long ground-breaking Academic Development Study of Australian Twins at the University of New England is helping us to better understand what factors impact children’s learning and how to achieve the best outcomes for all Australian students.

Latest research from the Twin-10 Resilience Study at Neuroscience Research Australia has revealed how early life stress can leave a lasting impact on the brain’s structure. Researchers are hopeful they can use this knowledge to help people become more resilient in the face of stressful times. 

A study mapping the thickness of the layers of the retina in twins at midlife, led by researchers at Monash University’s National Centre for Healthy Ageing in Australia, has found that it could be a marker of future dementia risk.

The Older Australian Twins Study at the University of NSW has revealed new insights into one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease, amyloid plaques.  The researchers  discovered the heritability of amyloid is moderate—meaning genes play only a moderate role in amyloid build-up in the brain. This finding indicates that, while genes are important, there is a major environmental contribution that may respond well to intervention.

Twins can face risks before and just after birth

Twin pregnancies, births and early-life care commonly require extra attention and resources from medical carers, clinics and hospitals. This is because multiple-birth babies are much more likely than singletons to be born preterm and with low birth weight, which are risk factors for higher infant mortality. TRA researchers are calling for specific healthcare guidelines in Australian hospitals to increase specialist care and reduce early-life inequities faced by these babies. Read more   
TRA is also supporting a public campaign by the Australian Multiple Birth Association that is highlighting key areas where parents of multiples need more support, including accessing affordable childcare and financial support. 

Coming soon Australia's most identical

Coming soon to your screens is a new TV special event. Nearly 100 twin pairs join in a variety of scientific and entertaining challenges to find Australia’s Most Identical. Channel 9 hosts, Scott Cam and Dr Jana Pittman (both parents of twins), are joined by two TRA researchers, who will supervise and assess the results. TRA is supporting the series to raise public awareness of the unique role of twins in health research which, ultimately, benefits all Australians. We’ll advise the series’ date and time on our Facebook when available in early 2023. 

You can't bake the same cake twice

"We are all familiar with the nature versus nurture debate. But what if we told you there is a much-neglected third factor that makes us who we are – nature, nurture, and an element of mystery?" TRA's Professor Jeff Craig explains how twins help us understand what makes us who we are. Read more 

A FEASST of a study for male twins

Are you a twin, or know a TWIN MALE (identical or fraternal), aged 20-45 in Melbourne or surrounds e.g. a relative, friend or colleague? Please let him know about this special research project. It includes: $300 in reimbursement, free meals for three weeks, a detailed general and reproductive health report and a Fitbit/or one month gym membership.  Help us to investigate the impact of diet on male fertility and to make a difference to the health of future generations. Learn more at  

Thanks to all of our TRA members who participated in studies in 2022. Find updates on these (including Twin-10, Monash University’s Influences on Mental Health, Twins & Sisters Mammogram Follow-up, and GenV) here 

Are your twin and family members missing out on our study invitations?

There are many twins and higher-order multiples on our database with whom we’ve lost contact. Could you help us to reconnect by encouraging them to update their email address with us? Then, they won’t miss out on invitations to exciting new studies coming up in 2023! 

  • Parents of multiples: Have your multiple children recently turned 18? Or did they turn 18 a while ago and are not receiving correspondence from us? Parents stop receiving study invitations on their twins’ behalf once they turn 18. So it is doubly important for these twins to update their contact details if they wish to continue to participate in studies.    
  • Multiples: Does your twin or triplet(s) receive our correspondence? If not, it’s likely we don’t have a valid email for them. 

Please encourage your twin or family members to update their contact details here.

1800 037 021 | |

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Copyright 2022: 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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