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Genetic Linkage

Identical Twins, Physical Fitness, and Transgender Identity in the News

The terrific new documentary "Three Identical Strangers" tells the remarkable tale of triplets separated in infancy who met for the first time at age 19, in 1980. Their matching faces, mannerisms, behaviors, and quirks reverberate throughout the film, astonishing because the triplets were raised in economically diverse families. The film pays less attention to what makes them different.

Identical Twins That Differ Markedly in Physical Fitness

Another intriguing case of nature vs nurture in identicals is published in the new issue of The European Journal of Applied Physiology. Katherine Bathgate, James R. Bagley, and Andrew J. Galpin and their colleagues, from a trio of California colleges, compared 52-year-old identical twins who differ greatly in their physical fitness level. “TT” is a runner and triathlete, “UT” a sedentary truck driver. Because they share all their genes, differences in physical fitness reflect what the twins do and have done, not what they inherited.

To continue reading go to DNA Science, where this post first appeared. Read More 
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20 Gene Variants and Transgender Identity: What Does It Mean?

The week started strangely.

On Monday morning, the author of a new book on transgender identity emailed me, asking about my research (I don’t have any). She’d read my comments in The Daily Mail, about an abstract from a meeting, identifying gene variants associated with transgender identity in a handful of people. But the Daily Mail writer, with whom I hadn’t communicated, didn’t identify the researcher. So people thought it was me.

Soon, Google Alerts sent me the full version of the article in by Oliver Moody, and then I recalled having emailed with him. (This is the Times of London; the New York Times rejects anything I send.) Read More 
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Is Transgender Identity Inherited?

The recent return of the "which bathroom?" issue regarding transgender individuals’ use of public restrooms has made me think about how I’ve handled sex and gender in my human genetics textbook. Over the editions, the two topics have diverged. And that’s at the crux of misunderstanding. Read More 
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