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Twins play a vital role in scientific discovery, according to a new survey

6th November 2018

TWINS are playing a vital role in research which can provide scientists with crucial insights into complex health issues and diseases.

Research with twins can:

  • Estimate the impacts of genetic and environmental factors on why people differ in health and disease

  • Perfectly control for age and sex with a shared rearing environment

  • Investigate difference in disease or environment with a matching control; co-twin control study

  • By naturally matching on variables such as age, gender and environment, twin studies can more readily identify the causes of diseases and health

  • Facilitate projects involving gender and disease with opposite sex pairs

  • Analyse issues relevant specifically to twins

  • Provide a powerful model for epigenetic studies

During International Multiple Birth Awareness Week (5th-12th November), the International Council of Multiple Birth Organisations (ICOMBO) issued results of a ground-breaking study into twins’ willingness to participate in research. 

It found that almost half surveyed from 38 countries (49%) would be willing to participate with 44% unsure and only 6% would definitely not. 

For those willing to take part, a majority would be happy to do it regardless of the topic area, while a significant number wanted it to relate to the understanding of twins themselves. 

These findings are of significant interest to the scientific community who regularly ask twins to participate in research because they can play an important role in understanding the interplay between genes and environment.

By studying the differences and similarities between and within twin pairs, crucial insights into complex diseases have been discovered.

Keith Reed, CEO, of Tamba, said: “It’s heartening to see so many twins are willing to take part in research for the greater good.

“At Tamba, we continue to invest in research to improve the outcomes for multiple birth families. So far we have invested in a Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) registry to improve outcomes for families that experience the condition, twin pregnancy growth charts to accurately monitor twins growth throughout pregnancy as well as other projects that will help our families.”


Related blogs: 

Fascinating twin and triplet facts

Tamba develops new tool to improve maternity care

A-Z of multiples

Tamba celebrates Twins, Triplets and More Week

Learn More About Twin Growth Charts


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