Researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research have characterized how and to what degree our cells utilize the gene copies inherited from our mother and father differently…[T]his helps to explain why identical twins can appear rather different, even though they share identical genetic makeup. With this knowledge we will better understand the variation in outcomes of genetic disorders.
Humans have two copies of all autosomal genes, one inherited from the mother and one from the father, and often the two copies are not perfectly identical due to small differences in their DNA sequence.
However, even between so-called identical twins, which carry precisely the same set of alleles, there are still differences in manifestation of some genetic traits…The mother’s allele of a certain gene may be expressed in some of the individual’s cells while the father’s allele is expressed in other cells of the very same individual. Whether this “choice” of expressed allele tends to be forwarded through cell division or…takes place independently in each cell…has remained unknown.
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