Semi-identical twins -- a boy and girl who are identical on their mother's side but share only 78% of their father's genome -- have been identified in Brisbane, Australia. This is only the second known case, ever. From the BBC:
"The mother's ultrasound at six weeks showed a single placenta and positioning of amniotic sacs that indicated she was expecting identical twins," (said Prof Nicholas Fisk whose team at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospita cared for the children when they were born in 2014).
"However, an ultrasound at 14 weeks showed the twins were male and female, which is not possible for identical twins."
If one egg is fertilised by two sperm, it results in three sets of chromosomes, rather than the standard two - one from the mother and two from the father.
And, according to researchers, three sets of chromosomes are "typically incompatible with life and embryos do not usually survive".
The identity of the twins has not been revealed.
A scientific paper about these rare humans was published the New England Journal of Medicine: "Molecular Support for Heterogonesis Resulting in Sesquizygotic Twinning"
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Zookeepers are tricking a new panda mom of twins into thinking she's got only one cub, so both will survive. Read the rest
Based on a recent eye-tracking study, researchers believe there's a genetic component to variations in how humans process visual information. Read the rest
When identical twins from Russia tried a faceswapping app, the results were neither comically bad nor perfectly seamless. Instead, we get a raw look at the ever-so-uncanny world of machine vision, with its subtly unsettling glitches, wobbles and warps. Read the rest
Identical twins Bridgette and Paula Powers think of themselves as a single person.
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Ambra, 23, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, and Jennifer, 33, of Spring, Texas were brought together as part of the Twin Strangers project. "I did not want to take my eyes off her," said Ambra.
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In the book The Man Who Wasn't There, Anil Ananthaswamy explores mysteries of self, including the weirdness of autoscopic phenomena, a kind of hallucination in which you are convinced that you are having an out-of-body experience or face to face with your non-existent twin. Read the rest
Uncanny Anny made an FAQ about her young twin girls and took a photo of it attached to their stroller.
Yes, they are mine.
Yes, they are twins
Yes, both girls
No, not identical
Yes, I know they look alike though
Yes, I’m sure they aren’t identical
Conceived by f**ing
Born via C-section
You have twins in your family? “Great”
They don’t run in my family … until now
Yes, my hands are full (sometimes with 2 glasses of wine just to get through)
Yes, triplets would be harder
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Genetically speaking, identical twins ought to be two copies of the same person. Environmentally speaking, if the twins grow up together, they ought to even be influenced by the same things. But if you actually pay attention to identical twins, they aren't identical in personality or interests. How do naturally occurring clones become individual people? That's the subject of a mouse study that Scicurious writes about on her blog. Fascinating stuff. Read the rest