Twins Research Australia’s blog for members and the broader twin community

Resilience, wellbeing and our genes

A new paper - a collaboration between Neuroscience Research Australia, University of New South Wales and Stanford University - explores what measures are most useful and effective for research into the genetics of wellbeing.  

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Caesarean twin births triple over past 30 years

The proportion of twins born by caesarean delivery increased three-fold in Victoria between 1983-2015 – and this trend is mirrored around Australia and overseas, according to a new study.

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Twins help us to understand factors in resilience

The researchers and twins may be 10-years-older but are excited to be joining forces again for the second phase of a landmark study to better understand the factors in resilience. Researcher Justine Gatt explains her findings so far, why she is inviting nearly 1600 twins from her first study in 2009 to return in 2020, and what she hopes to discover in this next phase.

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Perth mum to give birth to twins each in a separate womb

Perth mum, Alicia Cant, is expecting twins through a very rare type of twin pregnancy. She has a condition called uterus didelphys, or double uterus, and is pregnant with one twin to each uterus - due in early 2020. Alicia and her partner, Raymond, explain the condition, what it means for their twin pregnancy and how their babies will be born. 

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Same same but different: when identical twins are non-identical

Written by Hannah Brown, University of Adelaide, for The Conversation

The first set of sesquizygotic, or semi-identical twins, have been identified in Australia. How is this type of twinning different from more commonly occurring identical and non-identical twins?

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Identical genes, unique environments: why identical twins can differ in their school progress

Submitted by Professor Brian Byrne, School of Psychology, The University of New Engalnd

Are your identical twins quite different when it comes to their progress in reading, writing, and numeracy at school? Because identical twins are a 100% genetic match, it is expected they'll be pretty similar in their academic results. But Professor Byrne explains why this isn't always the case. 

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Twins helping to understand restless legs syndrome

Submitted by Associate Professor David Champion, Sydney Children's Hospital

This major twins’ study is seeking to better understand the causes of restless legs syndrome and a similar condition, childhood growing pains. Dr Champion explains why these conditions should be of wide interest and how his team’s study is aiming to improve diagnosis and treatment.

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The benefits of multiples in research

Submitted by Associate Professor Jeff Craig, Deputy Director, Twins Research Australia, and President of the International Society of Twin Studies

Research with multiples has provided unparalleled insights into what it is to be human - our behaviour, and our mental and physical wellbeing. Now research with multiples is entering a whole new era. If there’s a new and interesting area of medical research, somewhere a twin researcher will be studying it. 

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Twins at school: together or separate?

Submitted by Professor Brian Byrne, School of Psychology, The University of New England

Multiple-birth parents say it is one of most difficult decisions that they face: whether to separate or keep their twins together at school. Professor Brian Byrne investigates the many factors in a parent’s decision and seeks to answer the central question: will my twins prosper more when they are together or apart?

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We are Twins Research Australia: Insights into twin lives

Submitted by Lynette Walker, Marketing Communications Coordinator, Twins Research Australia, The University of Melbourne

What is it like to be a twin or twin parent? In these 17 different short stories, twins explain in their own words what is most memorable, challenging and special about being a ‘miracle’ of human nature.

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Myths and realities: Twin children’s language and social development

Submitted by Professor Karen Thorpe, Institute for Social Science Research, The University of Queensland

Professor Karen Thorpe dissects the myths and realities of twin children’s lives …. Are twin children more likely to have developmental problems? Is being a parent of twins more stressful? Are twin relationships problematic? Do twins have problems making friendships? To separate twins or not at school? Professor Thorpe shares some surprising discoveries from her research.

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The psychology of raising twins and multiples

Submitted by Dr Katie Wood, a Senior Lecturer and Clinical Psychologist at Swinburne University of Technology who specialises in twin and family relationships

My interest in twins has spanned my whole life as I was born a younger sibling of identical twins. I grew up always trying to divide and conquer this very tight twin dynamic but it never worked. This led me to try to understand what it was that I was struggling with, and to dedicate a large part of my professional career as a psychologist to understanding twins from a family perspective.

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The fascinating and diverse world of twin pregnancy

Submitted by Associate Professor Jeff Craig, Deputy Director of Twins Research Australia.

From Apollo and Artemis to Beyoncé’s twins Rumi and Sir Carter, we have always been fascinated by twins. But do we really know how identical twins are formed? And are there only two different kinds of twins? Here we summarise our recent paper on this subject and answer these questions and more.

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Twins Research Australia has received continuous funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) since 1981, most recently through a Centre of Research Excellence Grant (2015-2022). TRA is administered by the University of Melbourne.

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