Scientists possibly uncovered the secret to why some twins are born identical, a milestone that might lead to the apparition of treatments for congenital disorders, which especially impact identical twins.
An international team of scientists from Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam discovered a DNA signature common among identical twins, as per a Guardian report.
They targeted epigenetic factors, which are external, in addition to the genetic composition, and can enable or disable genes without impacting genetic sequences.
That switching changes the mechanism used by cells to read the genes, according to a Live Science report.
However, the precise reason why fertilized eggs split into two embryos with especially the same genes, was never precisely known.
The scientists analyzed the genomes of over 6,000 people across the globe – identical twins, fraternal twins, and family members who are not twins.
It turned out that identical twins were discovered to present the same DNA tags at 834 points within 450,000 sites across their DNA, according to Mashable.
The researchers published the data in Nature Communications and mentioned that the procedure was so secure that they could tell from the shared marks if a person is an identical twin with a precision of eighty percent.
That could help people know if they have been separated at birth from their twin or if their twin had been lost in the womb.
However, this isn’t the end of the research, as an American epigeneticist not part of the study believes the epigenetic markers are a possible result of the twin-splitting process, according to Science News.
A separate theory claims that they’re a factor that can provoke it, but some additional research is needed to find conclusive information about identical twins.
The subject has intrigued scientists for many decades, but it appears that recent progress is bringing them closer to finding the truth.