Those doppelgängers don't just look like you—they may share your DNA – Science

We’ve all had that feeling: You spot someone, say on the street in a distant city or even another country, who looks eerily like someone you know. Now, a study of look-alikes—unrelated people with faces so similar they could pass for identical twins—has found that such pairs share genetic traits, The New York Times reports. Scientists studied 32 pairs of individuals with uncannily similar headshots who are part of a long-running project by a Canadian photographer to document these faux twins (some shown above). The 16 pairs found by computer analysis to have the most similar features also shared more genetic variants than the less similar pairs, the researchers conclude this week in Cell Reports. That’s not a huge surprise because researchers are already using genetics to predict face shape. The fake twins did not share DNA methylation patterns, chemical marks controlling gene expression that are shaped by our environment, reinforcing the dominant role DNA alone plays in determining our appearance.
Don’t yet have access? Subscribe to News from Science for full access to breaking news and analysis on research and science policy.
Help News from Science publish trustworthy, high-impact stories about research and the people who shape it. Please make a tax-deductible gift today.
If we’ve learned anything from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that we cannot wait for a crisis to respond. Science and AAAS are working tirelessly to provide credible, evidence-based information on the latest scientific research and policy, with extensive free coverage of the pandemic. Your tax-deductible contribution plays a critical role in sustaining this effort.
© 2022 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All rights reserved. AAAS is a partner of HINARI, AGORA, OARE, CHORUS, CLOCKSS, CrossRef and COUNTER.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *