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Distinguishing Between Identical Twins

Published: Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Last Updated: Tuesday, December 17, 2013
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UK-based DNA testing specialist announces a crucial breakthrough for distinguishing between identical twins for criminal evidence and paternity cases.

DNA Worldwide Group in conjunction with partner Eurofins Forensic, has proven that contrary to previous beliefs that only epigenetic code (genes altered by lifestyle factors over time), varied between identical twins, there is also a clear distinction between their base genetic codes. 

This world first completely transforms the legal landscape when forensically differentiating between twins for paternity or rape cases for example, in a move which has superseded the concept that fundamental base genetic code was consistently unchangeable. 

Prior to this latest breakthrough theory it was unanimously accepted that monozygotic twins were identical, with the best forensic labs in the world accepting analytical restrictions in the investigation of cases involving identical twins. 

David Nicholson, DNA Worldwide Group managing director explains, “This development in genetic science has huge implications for assessing paternity and forensic evidence previously thought impossible, and is thanks to the perseverance and hard work of our team in partnership with Eurofins Forensic, meaning the accuracy of investigation outcomes will be vastly improved.  The process undertaken included ultra-deep next generation sequencing combined with bioformatics.  This sequencing identified five differences (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms), which provided the necessary evidence for this landmark discovery.

“Over the years there have been a number of high profile court cases[i] featuring identical twins where the culprit has been unidentifiable because of forensic investigation limitations previously.  Thankfully these cases will now become a thing of the past.  With our laboratory we are now the only company worldwide that can offer testing to courts, solicitors and authorities to identify the difference between identical twins”

The peer-reviewed study “Finding the needle in the haystack: Differentiating ‘identical twins in paternity testing and forensics by ultra-deep next generation sequencing” is published in the renowned journal Forensic Science International: Genetics.


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