The twins

Friday, January 28, 2005

My heroine, Zoë, is a twin, and her brother, Zane, plays a part in the story, so I was particularly interested in some ‘twin’ facts I recently stumbled across. Some stuff I knew already, some I didn’t. Some I thought would be great in a suspense/mystery type book ‘centering’ around twins. Anywho, thought I share, in case it sparked an idea for anyone.

Did you know:

1. Identical twins share all their genes, so they will be the same sex, with the same hair and eye colour, and have similar features. Their fingerprints, however, will be distinguishable, since fingerprints are the result of more than just genes — they're also affected by environmental factors, like the pressure of the amniotic fluid they experience in the womb.

2. Occasionally, genetic abnormalities will occur that make identical (monozygotic) twins quite different in appearance. In extremely rare cases, this can even lead to "identical" twins of the opposite sex.

3. It’s possible for a woman to have fraternal twins from different fathers. In one of the most notable cases, a white American woman gave birth in 1810 to two children — one white and one mulatto — at the same time. Needless to say, she had a lot of explaining to do.

4. Fraternal twins do not have to be conceived at the same time.

Superfetation occurs when a women ovulates more than one egg but the eggs are released at different times, sometimes up to 24 days apart, and they are fertilized when they are released. The resulting twin pregnancy has different conception dates, so the babies may be quite different in size. Days or weeks may separate the births. It is quite an unusual event. In some cases, the births of twins may be weeks or months apart due to deliberate medical intervention. This is called interval birth. [Source: National Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs]

5. "Chimerism" : happens when one fraternal twin "absorbs" the other in the womb. (It's the reverse process that forms "identical" twins). The child that results from this can have two different sets of chromosomes (including both XX and XY sex chromosomes), and two different blood types. (Yeah, we’ve all seen this on that CSI episode. Grissom, rules!!!!)

And to give acknowledgement where it’s due, I found the Q&A on Answerman.

None of this is relevant to Zoë and Zane, lol. I more interested in the psychic link twins share (as Zoë and Zane, do), because I want to use that in contrast to the frustration Odil feels when he fall back on his usual safety net and use his telepathy on Zoë. Then I'd to show how the emotion bond between Odil and Zoë develops into something much stronger than telepathy or twin empathy.

So I get to freak both of them out! gg. Such fun can be had in Writersville.

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Steph T. said...

Cool twin stuff - and it actually helps me for my WIP!

Makes up for the hour you forced me to spend on pacman the other day *g*

Linda Winfree said...

No Pacman for me. I hated the little yellow guy back in the 80's, too.

Love the twin stuff. Can't wait to read this book, Jaye!

Jaye said...

Steph, are you writing twins too? I thought the fraternal twins born at different times and the fact that indentical twins could be the opposite sex, really facinating. Just the type of tid bit that a suspense/thriller/mystery would hinge on.

Linda, I can't wait to read it either. gg. Once i figure out what the heck I'm doing. You don't like Pacman? Weeeehel, that sounds like a challenge. I'll have to find some little time waster to hook you....

Don't think that I won't. mwahahahahaaaa

Larissa said...

I have a friend who was a twin--and was born almost two months after her full-term brother. She was also full-term when she was born.

We always teased her about being a twin with a WAY different birthday! LOL

Steph T. said...

I am writing twins. At first, they were going to be just brothers, but the twin stuff worked better. And that's just what I was thinking about the mystery part. Mine won't have a cliffhanger, per-say, but this info will come in handy with the psychic portion of the book and add to the confusion. (of course, what I just said is confusing as hell, so it's working already *g*)

Of course, this will all happen when I get around to writing that portion of the book. Which will happen when you stop making me procrastinate.

Oh, wait, I forgot I'm supposed to blame Larissa for everything.

Jaye said...

Larissa, that is so cool. I've never heard of that before (but I have heard of the biracial/causian twin situation.

Yes, Steph, dear you are confusing. And absolutely blame Larissa (and her ravaging pack of wolves) for everything. Now come by a later, and I may have a little summinsummin for you.... ;-) mwahahaaaa

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