At first glance we share a face, the needle swings to the same point when we stand on the scales and our heights have always been the same on the door frame – except when Lisa refused to remove her Cinderella “clip clop” shoes, but let’s not get into that.
However speak to us for ten seconds and you’ll soon realise we couldn’t be more different – Alana likes yoga, cheesy music and straight talking and Lisa likes running, hip hop and chatting... a lot! We just assumed this was down to us spending five years apart in different cities, separate friendship groups or (cynically!) our desire to be seen as individuals and intentionally choosing different interests.
However we met up with Tim Spector, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at Kings College, London and Director of the Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology and he suspects Alana having had antibiotics in our earlier years and Lisa being plagued with infection in our latter years, could play a part in a lot of our differences in health (and opinion).
This could have affected the microbiome in our guts – ooohhh interesting you cry – and now here comes the science bit... research has shown that the 100 trillion bacteria living naturally in the gut play an important role in human health and disease. Each individual’s bacteria are unique to him or her, and small changes in this finely balanced community can influence susceptibility to illnesses such as irritable bowel syndrome, cancer, heart disease and obesity.
SO, if our bacteria is unique to us, BUT, we essentially have the same make-up, lifestyle, diet and body parts, then our guts can prove very interesting indeed.
Identical twins are the perfect control for such experiments, sharing 100 per cent DNA but only 40 per cent similar microbiome, so we are going to be working closely over the next while with the Department of Twin Research at Kings College London and their British Gut project, scribbling down food diaries and conducting all sorts of experiments in order to aid their research.
We’re benefitting the medical world, whilst getting to know our own bodies better, in turn (hopefully) making them healthier – it’s WIN WIN all round.
Who knew sharing a womb could be so salubrious?
Enjoy wicked fun with Glinda
Want to be involved with something that will make your friends green with envy? Edinburgh is more excited than Munchkinland at Dorothy’s arrival to be welcoming the spellbinding show Wicked to the Playhouse over the winter period.
As a huge fan of the show, Alana wants to give the young performers of the Capital a unique experience she could only have dreamed of at that age.
Let Glinda teach you the show’s greatest hits and the ensemble take you through the steps to become a resident of the Emerald City.
She has teamed up with the cast of the musical to provide a one-off workshop for budding stars to learn the songs and dances from the show.
The workshop will take place on Sunday November 30 at Morningside Dance Academy, all ages and abilities welcome.
With lots of places gone already it’s proving to be very “popular”! so if you would like a space, book in quick and e-mail Alana at email@example.com.