“Another me in the world” may really exist
We all know that twins look alike, and if you don’t look carefully, it’s easy to misunderstand that they are the same person. But sometimes we may inadvertently discover that two people who have no genetic relationship can also look very similar. Although the probability is very small, “not twins are better than twins”. What is the principle of this?
Tong Liya and Dong Xuan, Wang Luodan and Bai Baihe, Zhang Yishan and Xia Yu… When these couples of actors appeared on the screen, if many audiences didn’t pay close attention, they would easily be confused and confused, leading to “Zhang Guan Li Dai”! There is such a high probability that two celebrities without any blood relationship will look extremely similar, let alone the general public? Boldly imagine, is there really an “other me” somewhere in this world?
Fantastic “Double Body”
A new study has found that there appear to be genetic similarities between two people who look alike but aren’t related by blood, a condition known as “doubles.” The research results were published in the American scientific journal “Cell Reports” on August 23, 2022.
This research stems from a photography exhibition.
By chance, Canadian artist François Brunel discovered that he was exactly the same as British actor Rowan Atkinson (played by “Mr. Bean”). As a result, he implemented a photography project called “I am not a fake”. According to the US “New York Times”, hundreds of unrelated lookalikes participated in the program, hoping to find “another me in the world”.
The plan has become a social media sensation and has attracted the attention of Dr. Manel Estelle, a researcher at the José Carreras Leukemia Institute in Spain. Estler, who had previously studied the biological differences between identical twins, wanted to study “people who look alike but are not related by blood”.
Estler and his team took part in Brunel’s photoshoot, and taking advantage of the rare opportunity, they recruited 32 pairs of lookalikes for DNA testing and questionnaires about their lifestyles. Of the 32 pairs of participants, 16 looked so alike that even professional facial analysis software judged them to be identical twins!
The researchers compared the DNA of the 16 pairs of participants to see if their DNA was as similar as their appearance. Estler found that the 16 pairs of participants who were “truly” similar in appearance shared a much higher degree of gene sharing than the other 16 pairs of participants. “These people really look alike, they have the same genome or a significant portion of their DNA sequence,” Estler told the New York Times. “It seems like common knowledge, but it’s never been proven.”
Everyone may have “another me”
However, DNA alone does not fully explain how this phenomenon occurs.
Research has found that our life experiences, and those of our ancestors, influence whether our genes are turned on or off, which scientists call the epigenome. In addition, our microbiome (the bacteria, fungi and viruses that live in our bodies) can also affect how we look. Estler found that while the genomes of doppelgangers were similar, their epigenomes and microbiomes were different, making them slightly different from their other selves in the world.
However, the above series of studies still show that the similarity between two people is more related to their DNA than to their growth environment or life experience-“the other me in the world” is just that after the population grows to a certain level, in the population with a large base occasional event.
This result surprised Estelle, who had expected the environment to have a more pronounced effect. “There are so many people in this world, and the genetic patterns that generate looks are so limited that they repeat themselves,” Estler said.
Therefore, in theory, everyone on the earth may have “another me in the world”. Although CNN believes that the study has certain limitations-the sample size is small, and it focuses on the similarities of Eurasians, so the results of the study do not necessarily apply to a wider range.