Do identical twins have same fingerprints or the same DNA?
Although twins are born out of the same fertilized egg and share the same genetic blue print there is however less chance of them having the same fingerprints. In other words, even though twins are born from a single egg that splits, their fingerprints are not entirely of genetic characteristics. When a standard DNA test is carried out there will be no differences between two identical twins and no can distinguish them. Yet if you were to carry out a fingerprint test then the difference between the two are easily seen. This is mainly because the genetic characteristics remain stable for a long period while the fingerprint characteristics change very fast. In order to understand this properly you must know certain facts about twins.
Identical twins facts
Identical twins are monozygotic and this means that they develop from a single fertilized egg that immediately splits into two in the womb. Hence, almost all their features are identical and so also many of their characteristics. However, the twins differ when their fingerprints are taken. This is because fingerprints change with slight changes in the environment within the womb itself.
This means that fingerprints change even if there are any random stresses or that the umbilical cord is slightly longer or shorter in length for one of the twins. Again, the environment outside the body also substantially changes the fingerprints. Although DNA too changes it is not easily noticeable.
It is seen that DNA too changes overtime yet the changes occur in a few cells and not many. There are for instance about 100 trillion cells in a human body. The DNA blueprint is copied to each of these cells or mostly so. This means that a few cells make a mistake while copying and hence mutation takes place. This mistake is not rectified and since only a few cells do the error is not found in a forensic study.
The identical twins therefore remain quite true to the same characteristics unless the mutation is revealed later on. The real facts about identical twins then come out when they both get older. It is seen that environment, foods, exposure to chemicals, heat, light and other conditions often change the character of the twins.
Identical twins fingerprints
The above points show that unless some rare facts surface it is rather difficult to identify the errors that reveal some differences between two identical twins. Studies therefore have confirmed one best way of revealing the difference and this is through the fingerprints alone.
The fine details on the finger and the ridges and the swirls that etch marks and valley like formation on the finger tip are markedly different in twins that are only a week old. As they grown older these marks become even more non-identical. It is with the basis of this difference that forensic experts may identify the real twin culprit from the other on a crime scene.
As identical twins grown their environment, occupation and characteristics may change and this is the reasons why identical twins look different during old age.