UCL Division of Biosciences


'Vanishing twins' - international collaboration with Stern Lab published in Nature Communications

29 September 2021

A study led by Jenny van Dongen and Dorret Boomsma with international collaborators including the Stern lab, reveals that identical twins carry a persistent epigenetic signature. This means that we can now retrospectively diagnose if a person was conceived as monozygotic twin.

image of twins by Nick en Carst

The study reveals that identical twins have specific epigenetic changes to their DNA that persist from conception to adulthood. The finding provides insights into the biology surrounding identical twin conception.

Read the article at Nature Communications.

New Scientist article "DNA markers reveal if you shared a womb with twin that didn't survive"

The Guardian article "Dutch scientists may have solved mystery of why some twins are identical"