Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Twin research

Twin research is a fascinating area as this article points out.

Twins are unusual. They are interesting because they are so rare. They have always been a favourite subject of myths, folk tales and drama. Identical twins in particular are objects of great fascination and their similarity has caused us to ponder the deepest questions about the nature of human identity. (1) 
 Few people are indifferent to witnessing the birth of twins. The womb, which is clearly designed to carry one baby, manages to carry two, and they are both born alive. Of course the twins we see are always in pairs. They are often, if not always, together. They seem to be bonded by a connection that goes back to their time together in the womb. A lone twin is a sad sight, for in the public eye this person surely is no longer a twin, because twins come in twos, we all know that.

A short history of twins

The scientific study of twins and twinning, as far as we know, is relatively recent when compared to other branches of obstetrics. One of the first publications to consider in detail the biological nature of twinning in humans was published in 1883.(2) It was written by Francis Galton, who was one of those remarkable nineteenth century English thinkers who laid the basis for almost all the later theories on twinning - that is, until the development of ultrasound and artificial methods of reproduction a hundred years later
 
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