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Issue 20, August 2018

In this edition:

Who can judge a book by its cover?

We quickly decide another person’s character from just looking at their face and these impressions influence crucial decisions in everyday life. New research is studying first impressions from faces to better understand their social consequences – from influencing hiring decisions, dating choices and even court case outcomes. Can you help our researchers by completing an online survey; open to identical and non-identical twins Australia-wide? Find out more and don’t miss the fascinating video by these same researchers on why it is better to let a stranger choose your online profile pictures. Read more

Myths and realities: Twin children's social world

We know twins have risks and challenges that are different to singletons but how significant are these?  Based on her research, Professor Karen Thorpe from the Queensland Institute for Social Science Research, dissects the myths and realities of twin children’s lives …. Are twin children more likely to have developmental problems? Is being a parent of twins more stressful? Are twin relationships problematic? Do twins have problems making friendships? Read her blog or watch her video here

Zygosity testing doubly important for twins

Did you know that twins are often mistaken about their zygosity? Twins Research Australia found that nearly one-third of twin pairs in its study were incorrect when asked to identify if they were identical or non-identical. Does it matter to know for sure? The same study found a number of benefits that contribute to twin bonding and wellbeing. If you are same-sex twins, the best way to be certain is through a zygosity test. To make the test as affordable and convenient as possible, TRA has a special discounted rate available through Australian company, easyDNA, exclusive to our members.  Learn more about why zygosity matters and how to obtain the special rate here 

Twins show what determines our sensitivity to fat

With the help of TRA-member twins, new research has found a taste for fat is not driven by genetics, rather it’s all down to diet. The study at Melbourne’s Deakin University found that a high-fat diet decreased a person’s sensitivity to the ‘taste’ of fat, irrespective of their body weight or genetics. People who have a lower sensitivity to fat taste, end up eating far more kilojoules from fat - because they need more to feel full – which can lead to weight gain. Given obesity is a major public health issue, these findings help us to better understand why people may gain weight and barriers to losing weight. Read more  

Our latest studies open to twins

This year continues to be one of our busiest with many new studies now open for all ages. Urgent help is needed for our research into how temperament develops over late childhood to mid-adolescence. This requires a parent of twins (living in Melbourne) to complete an online study on behalf of themselves and their twins aged 9-15 years. Other studies are investigating back pain, singing ability, mental health, brain ageing, breast cancer, speech disorders and much more. Find all of our latest studies here


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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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