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Issue 27, July 2020

In this edition:

Strong close relationships vital in pandemic times

Twins and triplets show how our close social relationships are vital in how we cope with the upheaval of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new TRA research. The TRACKERR (Twins Research Australia COVID-19 Knowledge, Experience, Reaction and Resilience) study involved over 3500 adult twins and triplets Australia-wide. Find a summary and the full report here

We thank our amazing members who made this research possible. The second wave of our adult twin/triplet survey will begin in the next few weeks. Keep a look out in your inbox for the invitation. Findings from our survey of parents of twins/triplets will follow once they have been analysed. As the researchers explained: “We hope these findings will guide future decision-making related to public health services, support and outcomes – and contribute to helping those most in need.”  It’s not too late to join the study – learn more here 

Double boost to Australia’s flu tracking efforts

Tracking the spread of influenza in Australia has received a double boost. A first-ever twins and HOMs specific online survey has been launched by TRA and FluTracking, an initiative of the Commonwealth Department of Health.  The survey takes just 10-15 seconds to complete weekly. It is open to twins and HOMs of all ages and types Australia-wide.  Your participation will help us to investigate the spread and people’s experiences of flu-like symptoms, and whether they get the flu injection or not. Learn more and register to participate here

Seeking twins for global breast cancer study 

Twins Research Australia and our members have supported breast cancer studies over the past two decades, contributing to better ways to predict risk and improve screening. Now TRA is joining a major new multinational study to identify the factors in early life, such as the time around puberty, that predict risk of breast cancer. The study is seeking to explain why only one twin in a pair develops breast cancer, or why if both twins are diagnosed, one twin does so earlier. This large international study could reveal new information about environmental and lifestyle factors that protect against breast cancer and thereby lead to effective preventive strategies worldwide. Both identical and non-identical twin pairs – in which one or both twins have had a diagnosis of breast cancer – are invited to participate. Learn more

Who do we trust and why it matters

Thanks to our members who participated in the study, Face Perception: Who May Judge a Book by its Cover? Findings are now available from this research that examined the basis of trust and what makes some of us trust more readily than others. Why is it important to understand the place of trust in our lives? As researcher, Dr Clare Sutherland explains: “Our impressions of trustworthiness can have major consequences - including the decisions we make such as financial lending, partner selection, and even prison-sentencing decisions – so it is important to understand how they come about and what influences our perceptions.”  Learn more

Twins show how we respond to exercise differently

Twins are providing insights into what exercise may be best for you.  A new twin study, including TRA members, shows that almost everyone can benefit from an exercise program, but the right exercise program can differ from person to person. The findings also indicate that genetics may play less of a role than we imagine in how our bodies respond to workouts. The study has received international attention including this article in The New York Times. Learn more

Caesarean twin births triple over past 30 years

The proportion of twins born by caesarean delivery increased three-fold in Victoria between 1983-2015 – and this trend is mirrored around Australia and overseas, according to a new study. Researcher Amy Liu explains the reasons for this and the implications for mothers, their babies and obstetric practices here 

And even more studies to participate in…

We continue to conduct as many twin studies as possible in line with advice and guidelines from the Australian Government and respective state governments. Most of our studies are currently online and we would welcome your participation. If you have volunteered for a study involving face-to-face contact, it may not be possible at this time, but our researchers will keep you updated on arrangements. In addition to the studies already featured above, we have other studies seeking twins of all ages, identical and non-identical. Learn 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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