Gene Expression

Aryan twins in Brazil


Mystery of the ‘Land of Twins’: Something in the Water? Mengele?:

There was no evidence of the use of contraceptives or fertility drugs among the women, nor of any genetic mixing with people of African origin, who have higher twinning rates than caucasians, Dr. Matte said. But the rate of identical twins here, at 47 percent of all twin births, is far higher than the 30 percent that is expected in the general population, she found.

The part about monozygotic (identical) vs. dizygotic is strange. I knew about this village, but not the high frequency of identical twins. The between population twinning variance alluded to in that passage usually applies to dizygotic twins. The higher twinning rates of Northern Europeans than Southern Europeans, probably due to higher levels of milk consumption, are because of higher rates of fraternal births. My money is on some environmental factor. Though I would be curious about data which show that monozygotic twinning runs in families….


  1. #1 James
    February 23, 2009

    What the hell? Isn’t that Brittany Daniel?

  2. #2 divalent
    February 24, 2009

    I donno. IMO, they have to prove this up. there are probably 50,000 similarly sized villages in the world that such an occurance could be noticed. You’d expect about 50 or so to have an anomaly that was statistically significant at P<0.001.

  3. #3 Matthew
    February 24, 2009

    Maybe Mengele accidentally stumbled upon some sort of epigenetic modifier that happens to increase twinning?

    It’s a good thing the Nazis didn’t wait 10 years before trying to take over the world…

  4. #4 divalent
    February 24, 2009

    I guess the “less than” character mucks up comments. the last part of my comment above was “at P less than 0.001”

  5. #5 dana
    February 25, 2009

    The frequency refers to fraternal, not identical twins. They corrected the article.

    * * *
    Correction: February 25, 2009
    The Cândido Godói Journal article on Monday, about the unexplained proliferation of twins born in the farming town of Cândido Godói in southern Brazil, misstated the type of twins usually associated with a genetic tendency of the mother. They are fraternal twins — like a majority of those born in the town. They are not identical twins, which are generally believed to be conceived by chance.
    * * *

  6. #6 Steve
    November 30, 2009

    “Sometimes Mengele said he was a doctor who gave shots to pregnant women. Other times he was a vet who treated sick cows.”

    Maybe he spiked the milk?


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