Science Questions

Is having identical twins hereditary?

Sun, 8th Nov 2009

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Question

Lisa Brooks, via Twitter asked:

My gran is an identical twin. My mum is also a twin, but Iím not. Is the chance increased that I will have twins, or is that actually a myth?

Answer

We put this to Oriane from Cambridge Temperature Concepts:

Oriane: -   Well, thereís not much information about identical twins being something you can pass on generation from generation.  However, if your mum has a non-identical twin, then your chances of having twins are quite increased as well.

Chris: -   Why is that?

Oriane -   Why is that?  The first one is identical twins which results from one sperm meeting the egg and then the egg dividing into two embryos instead of just one as would occur normally. In the case of non-identical twins, youíll have the two eggs that are produced and each meets a separate sperm, and that is something that can be passed on generation to generation.

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