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Twins Research Australia

Based at The University of Melbourne, Twins Research Australia (TRA) brings twins and researchers together Australia-wide for vital health research that benefits everyone. Twins and their families are at the heart of all their work.

Twins are special to research as they help us to tease apart the effects of nature (genetics) and nurture (environment) on our health. TRA studies look at medical conditions such as cancer and diabetes that can affect anyone as well as studies of specific concern to multiple-birth families such as premature birth, and twin social and educational development.

As well as undertaking research, TRA support twins to live happy and healthy lives. At Twins Research Australia you’ll find:

  • findings from the latest twin health studies
  • information about new twin studies commencing around Australia, and you are welcome to join in
  • access to practical and evidence-based free resources such as the Twin Pregnancy and Early Parenting Booklet
  • access to discounted zygosity (DNA) testing to know if your twins are identical or not – the link below explains why this is important
  • invites to special twin events like festivals, forums and workshops
  • social support and connection through our social media forums.

TRA services are open to all researchers and supported by their members – over 35,000 twin pairs, identical and non-identical, of all ages, who volunteer for research. Learn more about joining here as membership is free.

Recommended links

Last reviewed: March 2017

Information from this partner

Found 18 results

What is the frequency of MZ and DZ twin births?

Birth rates for MZ twins are consistent among all races (about 4 per 1000); but the incidence of DZ twinning varies among races (8 per 1000, among Caucasians, 16 per 1000 among people of African descent, and 4 per 1000 among Asians). A genetic predisposition or inherited characteristic for DZ twinning exists in some families, but the consistency of MZ twinning among all populations suggests that identical twinning is a random occurrence that is not influenced by genes. Overall, about 1 in 80 births in Australia is a twin and of these about 30% are MZ.

Read more on Twins Research Australia website

Do identical twins always look alike?

Even though identical twins are from the same sperm and egg and therefore have exactly the same set of chromosomes and therefore genes, researchers are realising that there are other forces at play the science of epigenetics.

Read more on Twins Research Australia website

Frequently asked questions

We are pleased to answer your most frequently asked questions. If you have other questions not covered in our list please contact us and we'll be happy to assist. We also recommend following us on Facebook or Twitter and subscribing to our eNews as it is a great way to keep up to date with the latest in all twin related news.

Read more on Twins Research Australia website

What are the current multiple pregnancy and birth trends?

There has been an overall increasing trend in multiple births in the last two decades in Australia. Attributed largely to the increased use of fertility drugs and assisted reproduction technology and the growing number of older mothers.

Read more on Twins Research Australia website

Classic twin study

The classic twin design aims to quantify the roles of genetic and environmental causes of variation in traits and in disease susceptibility.

Read more on Twins Research Australia website

Expecting twins?

Congratulations from Twins Research Australia on your happy news. No doubt you are keen to find out as much as possible about twin pregnancy and the early days of parenting.

Read more on Twins Research Australia website

Types of twins

There are two different types of twins: monozygotic or identical (MZ) and dizygotic, fraternal or non-identical (DZ). Learn more about each type of twin.

Read more on Twins Research Australia website

Support services

Where to find practical support and services, twin specific psychologists and mental health advice, telephone services, online community groups and much more.

Read more on Twins Research Australia website

Zygosity testing

Twins Research Australia receives many queries from twins and their families interested in zygosity testing to determine whether a particular twin pair is identical (monozygotic or MZ) or non-identical (dizygotic or DZ).

Read more on Twins Research Australia website

How can I tell if my twins are identical or not?

Parents of twins and twins themselves are often confused about their zygosity. It is human nature to look for differences, hence twins and/or their parents may think they are not identical when they very well could be. The only way to really know for sure is via a DNA test.

Read more on Twins Research Australia website

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