A twin study of breast cancer and epigenetics
There is some scientific evidence that growth in early life, and especially during adolescence when breasts develop, could be playing a role in determining a woman's risk of breast cancer later in life.

The researchers involved in this study have found that the twin who developed her breasts earlier had greater mammographic density. This suggests that the timing of breast development could be influenced by factors that have a role in causing breast cancer.

The new research will build on these findings, and also study genetic and epigenetic factors on breast cancer risk by studying twin pairs in which one or both have had breast cancer.

Why do some people consume excess fat?
Obesity is an important public health issue. It is a condition with serious health consequences, including cardiovascular disease, cancer and type-2 diabetes. The causes of obesity are complex and include inactivity and eating an unhealthy diet, especially an excess consumption of fat. Researchers from Deakin University are interested in whether genetics play an important role in how much fat one consumes. This study, which is about taste, not weight change, is asking twin pairs to take part in an 8 week program where each twin pair will be randomly placed on either a high or low fat food program. All twins aged 16-years-plus, and able to attend Deakin University Sensory Lab in Melbourne, are eligible to participate.

Why do we get addicted? A twin study of the relationships between impulsive and compulsive behaviours
Most of us have some degree of impulsivity and/or compulsivity and this study aims to gain a greater understanding of the extent to which genetics, shared environment and unique environmental factors explain why people differ in these types of behaviours. All adult twin pairs, aged 18–55 years and able to complete an online questionnaire, are eligible to participate.

Type-2 diabetes and brain function
This study is exploring how type-2 diabetes contributes to the risk of dementia. It is open to twin pairs aged 50 years and over, where only one twin has type-2 diabetes. 

For more information about any of these studies and to express an interest in participating please visit this link.

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Twins Research Australia is a national resource supported by a Centre of Research Excellence Grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council and housed within the University of Melbourne.

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