History: first twin model

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tbates's picture
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Anyone have a reference for the first twin model, using the distinction of MZ and DZ similarity?

In writing the wikipedia page, my current understanding is it was Weinberg, with the area being forgotten again or perhaps stifled by the thoughts of Fisher (1915) on (the lack of) MZ twins, to be reinvigorated by Seimens in 1924 with his poly symptom checklist. Thoughts?

AdminJeff's picture
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As this is Creative Commons,

As this is Creative Commons, feel free to contribute a page in the wiki on the topic, with a back-link to Wikipedia.

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tbates's picture
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Have to get the original

Have to get the original reference, but I think Merriman did not use the MZ/DZ genetic difference...

Money is on Weinberg - 1910. Not writing in English has become a handicap for notoriety since the late 1800s, I guess.

Sanja's picture
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Really, that early? I thought

Really, that early? I thought that before Martin & Eaves 1977 no one used the MZ/DZ distinction on human data (in any way that resembles what we do now at least..).. (apart from a book by economists (J.R. Behrman, Z. Hrubec, P. Taubman & J.T. Wales I think) in which they performed a univariate analysis, with Martin and Eaves being the first multivariate paper....).

But papers before that are pretty incomprehensible to me (e.g. Vandenberg 1956 etc) so maybe that is the problem. However, from what I did read, I did not see the MZ/DZ genetic difference being used in anything that dates before 1977...

But of course I am no expert. Just curious about the answer to your question. Is it possible to access this Weinberg 1910 paper (an English version)?

tbates's picture
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hi Sanja, Siemens (1924) had

hi Sanja,

Siemens (1924) had figured out how to use multiple traits to allocate twins to MZ or DZ. But before that, Wilhelm Weinberg (1910) understood how the MZ-DZ distinction could be used to calculate same- and opposite-sex twins as a mixture distribution, and ACDE partitioning of variance.

This is what i ended up writing on wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twin_study#History

Sanja's picture
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Great, thanks!

Great, thanks!

neale's picture
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There was an article by

There was an article by Rende, Plomin & Vandenberg on this in Behavior Genetics, 1990 20:2 pp277-85. Abstract reads:

The twin method is usually credited to Francis Galton's 1875 article on twins. However, Galton did not propose the comparison between identical and fraternal twin resemblance which is the essence of the twin method. Although the twin method was "in the air" in the mid-1920s, the first descriptions of the method appeared in an article by Curtis Merriman and in a book by Hermann Siemens, both in 1924, 50 years after Galton's paper.