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Image of the structure of a DNA spiral

From DNA to discovery

We’ve been inviting many of our twins to provide their DNA to enable exciting new research in TEDS. From the tiny test tube of saliva that we receive, we can extract an impressive 1 million markers, which can then be used in cutting-edge research to investigate factors involved in learning, health and disease.

Why are we collecting DNA and why is it important?

Research has shown that most complex human traits are influenced by many genes (yes, that's right there's no single 'gene for sport'!). In fact for most traits, single genes on their own only have a very small effect and this makes them exceedingly difficult to find. It is only by comparing the millions of DNA differences from a lot of people that we can uncover which genes are influencing which traits. The current DNA collection will enable many more exciting studies and help speed up the process of applying basic science to aspects of everyday life, including education, health and learning.

This sounds interesting, but I’m worried about confidentiality

For those worried, rest assured, once we receive a test tube of saliva, it is sent straight down to the lab, where it is given a randomly generated code and stored completely anonymously. In addition, we are not allowed to pass any information to outsiders such as police, doctors or insurance companies and the DNA we collect can only be used in TEDS research which has been ethically approved.

For those with any remaining questions about providing DNA, please feel free to email us your concern or, alternatively give us a call on our TEDS freephone number which can be found on our contact page.

For more details, please read our DNA study information sheet.

If you have not yet returned your DNA kit and consent form and would like to contribute to this exciting research, please send them back in the freepost envelope provided. If you need us to resend a DNA kit, please get in touch with us. All twins will be compensated £15 in vouchers for their time.