How Does a Twin DNA Test Work?

Twins are a rarity in general, but identical twins are even more irregular. Identical twins make up only 1/3 of twin births. So, how do you determine if you or a pair of loved ones made it into this statistic? 

Usually, identical twins are determined upon delivery, but in all the chaos, this detail can be overlooked. If your set of twins missed their diagnosis at birth, they’ll need a twin DNA test to identify their twin type. Twin DNA testing may sound complicated, but the process is much simpler than you’d imagine. 

If you want to know more about twin DNA testing and its overall process, keep reading. Everything you need to know is right below. 

What is A Twin DNA Test

Identical twins developed from the same fertilized egg, meaning both individuals will have the same DNA. In other words, there will be no genetic variations between the two. Fraternal twins, on the other hand, did not come from one fertilized egg.

This means fraternal twins will have similar DNA, but it will not be exact. A Twin DNA test will compare the DNA of one twin to the other and look for any differences. The detection of irregularities in the DNA will determine whether or not the set of twins is identical. 

Benefits of a Twin DNA Test

Believe it or not, knowing whether or not the twins in your family are identical will benefit you much more than your curiosity. If one twin in the set needs an organ transplant or blood infusion, their sibling is a perfect match. This means they will not have to wait for an organ match or go through the testing process multiple times. 

Some sets of twins are also more likely to develop certain diseases. Knowing whether or not the set in your family is susceptible to any illnesses will help prevent the disease’s progression and allow them to take precautionary measures. Twin DNA testing can also help determine the likelihood of future twin sets in your family. 

The ability to conceive twins is often a hereditary factor. Identical twins are not hereditary, but fraternal twins are. If the twins in your family are not identical, there is a high probability that there are more to come.

Do Both Twins Require Testing

Scientists can determine whether or not a set of twins is identical or fraternal by looking at their DNA profile. To create accurate profiles, DNA from both twins must be extracted and sent into the lab. If one twin has passed away or simply does not want to participate in the DNA test, it cannot be performed. 

To avoid any confusion or resistance, ensure both individuals are willing and ready to partake in the DNA test. 

At-Home DNA Collection

Before twin determination can occur, both individuals will need to send in a sample of their DNA. The DNA collection process does not require any needles or blood. Instead, the sample collector will send the twins a pair of buccal swabs to rub inside their cheeks. 

The collected saliva contains the DNA necessary for twin determination. After the saliva has been collected, both individuals will place their swabs in a tamper-evident package and return them to the sample collector. Once this step is complete, all the twins need to do is wait for their results. 

DNA Evaluation 

Once the sample collector receives the sealed swabs, they will send them to a laboratory for evaluation. At the laboratory, the DNA will be extracted, divided, and assessed by two sets of professionals. During this process, a chemical is added to the samples to trigger a PCR reaction. 

The PCR reaction will identify 16 sections of the DNA and allow scientists to create a DNA profile for both twins. The DNA profiles will then be evaluated by scientists and reveal the answer to your burning question. 

Revealing the Results 

Once the twin type has been determined by scientists, the twins will learn their results over the phone within the next 48 hours. The result will also get mailed to the pair, but the mailing process will take slightly longer. The twins should receive their mail results within the next 3-4 weekdays. 

If the mail results do not come during that time frame, call the DNA testing facility. The results may have gotten lost in the mail. 

How Accurate Are the Results 

The best part about the twin DNA testing process is the results are 100% accurate and never change. The DNA results are checked by two separate sets of scientists and go through extensive precautionary measures to ensure the swabs are not tampered with or contaminated. All recipients can choose to retest themselves to further solidify their results, but it is not necessary. 

The results will never expire or require updated testing. 

Twin DNA Test Pricing 

The DNA testing price for one set of twins is usually around $275. This includes the price of the twin DNA test kit, postage, DNA extraction, and evaluation. Each DNA testing company has its own payment method; check with your’s to ensure you pay for your testing correctly. 

Performing Your Twin DNA Testing 

If you want to perform your twin DNA test on yourself or a loved one, check out our DNA testing options at Health Link. Our DNA testing service provides fast and affordable DNA testing to individuals across the nation. The best part is, our results are 100% accurate. 

Click here to begin the twin DNA testing process right from home!

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