Anyone that went to school with me or lived in the small town of Swainsboro GA, uses me and my brother Kevin to form the image in their heads when they hear the word twin. Anyone who didn’t know us—this happening particularly when we were younger—and saw us in a store with our mother would proclaim, “Oh my! Are those twins? They look absolutely identical!”
At the very basic cellular level, there are several different types of twins, the two most well-known being monozygotic and dizygotic. The monozygotic twins are the identical twins—though Kevin and I look very similar, we are not identical and neither is the term monozygotic. This type of twining occurs when a single egg—or ova, if you want to get technical about it—is fertilized by a single sperm cell, in which the resulting zygote divides into two embryos; this does not mean that the children are identical, though they may have similar traits and physical appearances.
Kevin and I are a dizygotic pair, commonly known as fraternal twins. This occurs when two different eggs are fertilized by two different sperm cells—the process begins and results in individual zygotes and embryos. With that said, the DNA of both mono and dizygotic twins are very similar; it is the environmental conditions the twins are exposed to, in and outside of the womb, that influences the switching on and off of various genes.
So the big question remains: what has influenced Kevin and I throughout our early and current lives that has caused the proverbial light-switch to flash on or off? What have we experienced separately or differently that has caused us to become independent, social beings? This is what I must ask myself when completing my experimental writing project in my Writing the Body class.