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Twins from two different parents? Scientists in Colombia identify a case

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Jiya Saini
Jiya Saini is a Journalist and Writer at Revyuh.com. She has been working with us since January 2018. After studying at Jamia Millia University, she is fascinated by smart lifestyle and smart living. She covers technology, games, sports and smart living, as well as good experience in press relations. She is also a freelance trainer for macOS and iOS, and In the past, she has worked with various online news magazines in India and Singapore. Email: jiya (at) revyuh (dot) com

It is known as heteropaternal superfecundation: it happens when a second egg, released in the same menstrual cycle, is fertilized by a different man

A group of scientists from the National University of Colombia documented a case of twins from different fathers, during the study of tests requested by a man who inquired about the paternity of children.

The case began in August 2018 when the Population Genetics and Identification Group of the National University of Colombia (UNAL) received a request to establish with genetic markers the paternity of two male twins from the alleged father, who suspected that the children might not be his children.

According to a statement from the news agency of the National University, after comparing the DNA of the alleged father of the pair of twins, the group of scientists “showed that this coincided with the genetic profile of only one of them, that is, for the other it was an exclusion from paternity.”

Scientifically the case is known as heteropaternal superfecundation, a rare phenomenon that happens when a second egg, released during the same menstrual cycle, is fertilized by a sperm from a different man in separate sex.

The doctor in Science-Biology of the National University Lilián Andrea Casas Vargas said that when there are very difficult cases or you want to be sure of the result of the paternity tests, the laboratory performs other markers.

In this case, the statement adds, one known as a “Y chromosome panel” was made, taking into account that the twins are male, the scientist indicated.

The procedure

Casas explained that this procedure is a tool widely used in parental affiliation tests. “The Y chromosome is secreted only by the paternal line, and it does so en bloc from one generation to another, it never changes.

“So by not changing, those Y chromosome markers are expected to be completely identical to the parent. In this case, the genetic profile coinciding with one of the twins is again observed, while with the other 14 of 17 non-coincidences were identified, which corroborated the exclusion,” as stated by the university website.

Casas pointed out that, according to protocols established in the laboratory, when a case of paternity arrives and it results in “exclusion” the entire process is repeated to confirm that there were no technical errors during the analysis.

This is how they called again those involved, who were taken other samples and the results were the same, so the case was confirmed, which has been published in the Biomedical Journal of the state National Institute of Health.

11,000 tests per year

The director of the UNAL Population Genetics and Identification Group, William Usaquén, quoted in the publication, indicated that in Colombia an average of 11,000 paternity tests are carried out per year.

“Although it is a simple procedure, this (test) has a very large emotional charge due to the type of social and cultural implications it has. The opinions of filiation reveal a series of prejudices that are still latent in Colombian society regarding issues such as motherhood or sexuality, for example,” Usaquén said.

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