Prepare with the #1 ranked IELTS platform. Buy our:
Band 8+ Video Courses Recent Actual Tests Questions E-books
Research Using Twins Reading Answers
Research Using Twins Reading Answers

Research Using Twins Reading Answers

The Academic passage ‘Research Using Twins’ is a reading passage that appeared in an IELTS Test. Read the passage below and answer questions 1-13. Beyond the questions, you will find the answers along with the location of the answers in the passage and the keywords that help you find out the answers.

Research Using Twins

 

To biomedical researchers all over the world, twins offer a precious opportunity to untangle the influence of genes and the environment – of nature and nurture. Because identical twins come from a single fertilized egg that splits into two, they share virtually the same genetic code. Any differences between them – one twin having younger-looking skin, for example – must be due to environmental factors such as less time spent in the sun. 1

Alternatively, by comparing the experiences of identical twins with those of fraternal twins, who come from separate eggs and share on average, half their DNA, researchers can quantify the extent to which our genes affect our lives. If identical twins are more similar to each other with respect to an ailment than fraternal twins are, then vulnerability to the disease must be rooted at least in part in heredity. 2

These two lines of research – studying the differences between identical twins to pinpoint the influence of the environment, and comparing identical twins with fraternal ones to measure the role of inheritance – have been crucial to understanding the interplay of nature and nurture in determining our personalities, behavior, and vulnerability to disease. 3

The idea of using twins to measure the influence of heredity dates back to 1875, when the English scientist Francis Galton first suggested the approach (and coined the phrase ‘nature and nurture’). But twin studies took a surprising twist in the 1980s, with the arrival of studies into identical twins who had been separated at birth and reunited as adults. Over two decades, 137 sets of twins eventually visited Thomas Bouchard’s lab in what became known as the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart. Numerous tests were carried out on the twins, and they were each asked more than 15,000 questions. 4

Bouchard and his colleagues used this mountain of data to identify how far twins were affected by their genetic makeup. The key to their approach was a statistical concept called heritability. In broad terms, the heritability of a trait measures the extent to which differences among members of a population can be explained by differences in their genetics. And wherever Bouchard and other scientists looked, it seemed, they found the invisible hand of genetic influence helping to shape our lives. 5

Lately, however, twin studies have helped lead scientists to a radical new conclusion: that nature and nurture are not the only elemental forces at work. According to a recent field called epigenetics, there is a third factor also in play, one that in some cases serves as a bridge between the environment and our genes, and in others operates on its own to shape who we are. 6

Epigenetic processes are chemical reactions tied to neither nature nor nurture but representing what researchers have called a ‘third component.’ These reactions influence how our genetic code is expressed: how each gene is strengthened or weakened, even turned on or off, to build our bones, brains, and all the other parts of our bodies. 7

If you think of our DNA as an immense piano keyboard and our genes as the keys – each key symbolizing a segment of DNA responsible for a particular note, or trait, and all the keys combining to make us who we are – then epigenetic processes determine when and how each key can be struck, changing the tune being played. 8

One way the study of epigenetics is revolutionizing our understanding of biology is by revealing a mechanism by which the environment directly impacts on genes. Studies of animals, for example, have shown that when a rat experiences stress during pregnancy, it can cause epigenetic changes in a fetus that lead to behavioral problems as the rodent grows up. Other epigenetic processes appear to occur randomly, while others are normal, such as those that guide embryonic cells as they become heart, brain, or liver cells, for example. 9

Geneticist Danielle Reed has worked with many twins over the years and thought deeply about what twin studies have taught us. ‘It’s very clear when you look at twins that much of what they share is hardwired,’ she says. ‘Many things about them are absolutely the same and unalterable. But it’s also clear when you get to know them, that other things about them are different. Epigenetics is the origin of a lot of those differences, in my view.’ 10

Reed credits Thomas Bouchard’s work for today’s surge in twin studies. ‘He was the trailblazer,’ she says. ‘We forget that 50 years ago, things like heart disease were thought to be caused entirely by lifestyle. Schizophrenia was thought to be due to poor mothering. Twin studies have allowed us to be more reflective about what people are actually born with and what’s caused by experience.’ 11

Having said that, Reed adds, the latest work in epigenetics promises to take our understanding even further. ‘What I like to say is that nature writes some things in pencil and some things in pen,’ she says. ‘Things written in pen you can’t change. That’s DNA. But things written in pencil you can. That’s epigenetics. Now that we’re actually able to look at the DNA and see where the pencil writings are, it’s sort of a whole new world.’ 12

Questions 1-4

Do the following statements agree with the information given in the reading passage?

In boxes 1-4 on your answer sheet, write

TRUE    if the statement agrees with the information

FALSE    if the statement contradicts the information

NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this

  1. There may be genetic causes for the differences in how young the skin of identical twins looks.
  2. Twins are at greater risk of developing certain illnesses than non-twins.
  3. Bouchard advertised in newspapers for twins who had been separated at birth.
  4. Epigenetic processes are different from both genetic and environmental processes.

Questions 5-9

Look at the following statements (Questions 5-9) and the list of researchers below.

Match each statement with the correct researcher, A, B or C.

Write the correct letter,A, B or C, in boxes 5-9 on your answer sheet. You may use any letter more than once.

List of Researchers:

  1. Francis Galton
  2. Thomas Bouchard
  3. Danielie Reed
  1. invented a term used to distinguish two factors affecting human characteristic
  2. expressed the view that the study of epigenetics will increase our knowledge
  3. developed a mathematical method of measuring genetic influences
  4. pioneered research into genetics using twins
  5. carried out research into twins who had lived apart

Questions 10-13

Complete the summary using the list of words, A-F, below.

Write the correct letter, A-F, in boxes 10-13 on your answer sheet.

Epigenetic Processes

In epigenetic processes, 10…… influence the activity of our genes, for example in creating our internal 11…… . The study of epigenetic processes is uncovering a way in which our genes can be affected by our 12…… . One example is that if a rat suffers stress, the new-born rat may show problems in its 13…… .

  1. Nurture
  2. Organs
  3. Code
  4. Chemicals
  5. Environment
  6. behaviour

Answers

Unlock Answers

The answers to these questions are given below with their explanations.

Question Number Answer Keywords Location of Keywords
1 FALSE Any differences, one twin, younger looking skin, due to environmental factors Paragraph 1; lines 3-5
2 NOT GIVEN
3 NOT GIVEN
4 TRUE nature, nurture, not the only elemental forces, recent field, epigenetics, third factor, bridge, environment, genes Paragraph 6; lines 2-4
5 A The idea, twins, influence, heredity, 1875, Francis Galton, suggested, approach, phrase, nature, nurture Paragraph 4; lines 1-3
6 C Reed, latest work, epigenetics promises, take, understanding even further Paragraph 12; lines 1-2
7 B Bouchard, used, data, twins, affected, genetic makeup, approach, statistical concept, heritability Paragraph 5; lines 1-2
8 A The idea, twins, influence, heredity, 1875, Francis Galton, suggested, approach Paragraph 4; lines 1-2
9 B Thomas Bouchard’s lab, Minnesota Study, Twins Reared Apart Paragraph 4; lines 5-6
10 D Epigenetic processes, chemical reactions, Paragraph 7; line 1
11 B build, bones, brains, other parts, bodies Paragraph 7; last line
12 E study, epigenetics, revolutionizing, understanding, biology, mechanism, environment, impacts, genes Paragraph 9; lines 1-2
13 F rat, stress, pregnancy, epigenetic changes, fetus, behavioral problems, grows up Paragraph 9; lines 3-4

Also check :

Written By

Justin is our Exam Prep Master and helps our learners with the important information, tips to tackle the IELTS Test. He has his way of researching and putting into words the details that students need to know while prepping for the IELTS Test. Justin joined us right after working with an NGO, which helped students study. He understood the difficulties for local students who took up the IELTS Test as English wasn't their first language and thus took it upon him to educate and help students learn the basics of the language and how to tackle the test.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Featured Posts

101 IELTS Academic Reading Past Test Papers with Answers PDF Download
101 IELTS Academic Reading Past Test Papers with Answers PDF Download

"101 IELTS Reading Past Papers With Answers" is a must-have IELTS preparation book for......

42 Topics for IELTS Speaking Part 1 and Suggested Answers (PDF)
42 Topics for IELTS Speaking Part 1 and Suggested Answers (free PDF download)

In the IELTS Speaking Part 1 Section, IELTS examiner will introduce him or herself......

Useful IELTS Reading Articles, Website Resources & Material for Academic & General Training
Useful IELTS Reading Articles, Website Resources & Material for Academic and General Training

IELTS Reading Resources Besides doing exercises from reading practice tests from Cambridge IELTS Series,......

50 Recent IELTS Speaking Topics 2020 Part 2 & 3 with Model Answers
50 Recent IELTS Speaking Topics 2021 Part 2 & 3 with Model Answers

For Band 9 Sample Answers for all Part 1,2,3 topics in 2021, you can......

All Useful IELTS Writing Lessons & Websites
All Useful IELTS Writing Lessons & Websites

This post covers all IELTS Writing lessons on IELTS Material website, including: IELTS Writing......

IELTS Writing Recent Actual Tests in 2018 & Band 8.0+ Sample Answers (Updating)
IELTS Writing Recent Actual Tests in 2018 & Band 8.0+ Sample Answers (Updating)

Read IELTS Writing Actual Tests & Band 8.0+ Samples around the world to be......

IELTS Speaking Lessons
IELTS Speaking Lessons

This post contains useful links to the best IELTS speaking lessons/tips/books/practice tests/actual tests/sample answer...

100 IELTS Speaking Topics Part 1 Questions and Answers 2019
100 IELTS Speaking Topics Part 1 Questions and Answers 2019

IELTS Speaking Part 1 Topics Questions and Answers (Jan -May 2020) Check out the......

IELTS Speaking Part 1 Topics 2020 (Jan - May 2020) & Sample Answers
IELTS Speaking Part 1 Questions with Answers 2020 (Jan – May 2020)

In part 1 of the speaking test, the examiner will introduce himself or herself......

High Scoring IELTS Speaking Model Answers with Audio (Based on Past Papers)
High Scoring IELTS Speaking Model Answers with Audio (Based on Past Papers)

What could be better than preparing yourself for your exam by reading model answers......

IELTS Speaking Part 2 Topics in 2019 & Sample Answers
IELTS Speaking Part 2 Topics in 2019 & Sample Answers

To be well-prepared for IELTS exam (both IELTS Academic & IELTS General Training Module),......

IELTS Magazine - Week 1 (PDF)
IELTS Magazine – Week 1 (PDF)

IELTS Magazine is our brand new project on our official IELTS blog (ieltsmaterial.com), which......

IELTS Speaking Recent Actual Tests (January - April 2021) & Suggested Answers
IELTS Speaking Recent Actual Tests (January – April 2021) & Suggested Answers

IELTS Speaking Test Part 1 Question and Answers In the following page, you will......

150 IELTS Speaking Topics 2020 Part 2 & 3 with Model Answers
150 IELTS Speaking Topics 2020 Part 2 & 3 with Model Answers

Check out the latest IELTS Speaking Part 2 topics 2020 with model answers by......

IELTS General Training Writing Task 2 Sample Questions (2013 - 2020) & Model Answers free PDF download
IELTS General Training Writing Task 2 Sample Questions (2013 – 2020) & Model Answers free PDF download

Though IELTS writing is considered to be difficult for some students, it's helpful to......

Cambridge Practice Tests for IELTS Series (1 - 14) Academic and General Training Student's Book with Answers and Audios
Cambridge Practice Tests for IELTS Series (1 – 14) Academic and General Training Student’s Book with Answers and Audios

Cambridge Practice Tests for IELTS Series (1 - 14), written by experienced IELTS examiners......

Cambridge Practice Tests for IELTS Series (1 - 14) Student's Book with Answers with Audio [Latest Update]
Cambridge Practice Tests for IELTS Series (1 – 14) Student’s Book with Answers with Audio [Latest Update]

Cambridge IELTS 1 - 13 Academic & General Training Student's Book with Answers with......

Ace the IELTS : IELTS General Module - How to Maximize your Score (3rd edition)
Ace the IELTS : IELTS General Module – How to Maximize your Score (3rd edition)

This excellent self-study book for intense IELTS preparation in a few weeks is designed......

Advanced Vocabulary word List for IELTS
Advanced Vocabulary word List for IELTS

Advanced Vocabulary List for IELTS learners to Score Band 7.5 or Higher IELTS vocabulary......

Post Your IELTS Exam Questions
Post Your IELTS Exam Questions

Hi guys, When you were preparing for your IELTS, did you hope someone would......

Do you need help with IELTS Preparation, Enroll for our Master Program:

Enroll for Online Classes