Twins?

I came across this article yesterday. This has never even crossed my mind, but now that I think about it, I can’t get it out of my head. Interesting thought.

Are babies born from the same egg collection considered twins?

October 20, 2010

By 

 I’d like to introduce and welcome one of Genea’s Scientists, Nico Foley, as our guest blogger.  Nico has a Bachelor of Science from The University of Sydney and currently works in our Andrology team. In this post Nico answers the question – “are babies born from the same egg collection considered twins?”

I was asked by a personal friend with two children through IVF, if her children are genetic matches for each other. Her youngest child was born from a frozen embryo, which was created from an egg (“oocyte”) obtained from the same oocyte collection as her eldest child. “Does this mean they are twins?” she asked me.

This is a really interesting question, as the children would indeed be called twins if they had been born together, rather than one embryo having been frozen. However, in this case they would have been fraternal twins, not identical. Fraternal twins are only called twins because they gestate together inside the uterus and are born at the same time. They are not a genetic match for each other as they did not split from the same embryo. A single embryo which splits into two separate embryos results in both embryos having the same DNA as each other and are therefore termed “identical”.

I am glad my friend asked me this, and has allowed me to share it with all of you, as it made me realise that maybe there are others out there who wonder over the science involved in IVF and what this means for their children’s lives later down the track. Do you have any scientific questions you have always wanted to ask, but don’t have a scientist on hand to chat to? Ask them here and we will do our best to help you answer them.

Article found here.

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