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This article is part of a special issue on epigenomics.

Highly Accessed Open Badges Opinion

DNA methylation studies using twins: what are they telling us?

Jordana T Bell and Tim D Spector

Author Affiliations

Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology, King's College London, St Thomas Hospital Campus, Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7EH, UK

Genome Biology 2012, 13:172  doi:10.1186/gb-2012-13-10-172

Published: 18 October 2012


Recent studies have identified both heritable DNA methylation effects and differential methylation in disease-discordant identical twins. Larger sample sizes, replication, genetic-epigenetic analyses and longitudinal assays are now needed to establish the role of epigenetic variants in disease.

Epigenetics; DNA methylation; twins; heritability; epigenome-wide association studies; EWAS