Saturday, November 15, 2008

Dear BBC,

I would like to inform you that the child born to Susanne, the woman who had the world's first full ovary transplant, is genetically her daughter. You wrongly stated that Maja, the baby born because of the ovary transplant, is "genetically her niece." Since Susanne and Dorothee have the same genes (that's what makes them identical), that makes any children conceived by them genetically half-siblings (not cousins). The sisters share DNA, so the children have the SAME DNA from their mothers and different DNA from their fathers.

What you probably meant to say is that Maja is her niece in a familial sense, because the eggs formerly reside in her sister. However, as stated before, identical twins have identical DNA, which means the children born to identicals are gentically indistinguishable from half-siblings. If two identical females married an identical male from the same pair, their children would be genetically indistinguishable from siblings!

Hope this clears up any (long-lasting and persisting) confusion about identical twins.


**ETA** If you feel like letting the BBC know about their mistake, go here to fill out the form for style, accuracy, and grammar mistakes. The full url for the story with this mistake is

No comments: