Press Releases

  • Increased vitamin C in the diet could help protect against cataracts

    Higher dietary intake of vitamin C has been found to have a potentially preventative effect on cataract progression in the first twin study of cataracts to examine to what degree genetic and environmental factors influence their progression with age. Cataract is a common condition in which the lens of the eye becomes cloudy as a […]

    24th March 2016

  • Fitter legs linked to a ‘fitter’ brain

    Ed Yourdon [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

    Researchers at King’s College London have found that muscle fitness as measured by power in the legs is strongly associated with an improved rate of ageing in the brain. The findings, published in Gerontology, suggest that simple interventions, such as increased levels of walking, targeted to improve leg power in the long term may have […]

    10th November 2015

  • Multiple birth families are disadvantaged due to lack of government policy on classroom placements

    Last summer, 672 members of TwinsUK aged 16-50 responded to a survey about their experiences as a twin at primary school. This survey was conducted by Dr Lynn Cherkas (Honorary Research Fellow in the DTR) on behalf of TAMBA (Twins and Multiple Birth Association) who were researching school policies regarding the placement of twins. To […]

    28th October 2015

  • More than 11 moles on your arm could indicate higher risk of melanoma

    Researchers at King’s College London have investigated a new method that could be used by GPs to quickly determine the number of moles on the entire body by counting the number found on a smaller ‘proxy’ body area, such as an arm. Naevus (mole) count is one of the most important markers of risk for […]

    25th November 2015

  • Research shows high protein foods boost cardiovascular health

    Our latest research in collaboration with the University of East Anglia shows that a diet high in proteins is as beneficial as exercise for our cardiovascular health. The researchers analysed diet and clinical measures from 2000 of our twins and found evidence that showed that high levels of aminoacids had a positive effect on blood […]

  • Genetic architecture of immune system

    A new study has identified the key genes involved in the breadth of our immune response that may influence our susceptibility to diseases such rheumatoid arthritis, leprosy and malaria. The study, led by King’s College London and the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), suggests much of our immune system is under the control of […]

    13th March 2015

  • Department of Twin Research launches British Gut

    British Gut – an innovative UK open-source science project to understand the microbial diversity of the human gut – is launched today by the Department of Twin Research at King’s College London, in collaboration with American Gut. This cutting edge science project will give people in the UK and across Europe the opportunity to be […]

    6th October 2014

  • New study finds strong link between obesity and ‘carb breakdown’ gene

    Researchers at King’s College London and Imperial College London have discovered that people with fewer copies of a gene coding for a carb-digesting enzyme may be at higher risk of obesity. The findings, published in Nature Genetics, suggest that dietary advice may need to be more tailored to an individual’s digestive system, based on whether […]

    31st March 2014

  • Pain sensitivity may be influenced by lifestyle and environment

    Researchers at King’s College London have discovered that sensitivity to pain could be altered by a person’s lifestyle and environment throughout their lifetime. The study is the first to find that pain sensitivity, previously thought to be relatively inflexible, can change as a result of genes being switched on or off by lifestyle and environmental […]

    4th February 2014

  • Rate of ageing determined in the womb & linked to birthweight

    Scientists have found that key metabolites in blood – chemical ‘fingerprints’ left behind as a result of early molecular changes before birth or in infancy – could provide clues to a person’s long-term overall health and rate of ageing in later life. Published today in the International Journal of Epidemiology, the study of twins led […]

    12th July 2013

  • New back pain gene identified

    Researchers at King’s College London have for the first time identified a gene linked to age-related degeneration of the intervertebral discs in the spine, a common cause of lower back pain. Costing the UK an estimated £7billion a year due to sickness leave and treatment costs, the causes of back pain are not yet fully […]

    21 September 2012

  • Ageing genes discovered

    Researchers at King’s College London, in collaboration with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, have identified a group of ‘ageing’ genes that are switched on and off by natural mechanisms called epigenetic factors, influencing the rate of healthy ageing and potential longevity.

    20 April 2012

  • Solidarity could provide policy solutions

    A report by Professor Barbara Prainsack and Dr Alena Buyx reflects on how solidarity plays a role in our society and can facilitate policy making in areas affecting biobanks, pandemics and lifestyle diseases.

    30 November 2011

  • Master switch’ gene for obesity and diabetes

    A team of researchers, led by King’s College London and the University of Oxford, have found that a gene linked to type 2 diabetes and cholesterol levels is in fact a ‘master regulator’ gene, which controls the behaviour of other genes found within fat in the body.

    16 May 2011

  • Genes that control ‘ageing’ steroid identified

    Eight genes which control levels of the main steroid produced by the adrenal gland, believed to play a role in ageing and longevity, have been uncovered by an international consortium of scientists, co-led by King’s College London.

    15 April 2011

  • Scientists find gene linked to alcohol consumption

    Scientists have identified a gene that appears to play a role in regulating how much alcohol people drink, in a study of over 47,000 people published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    05 April 2011

  • Garlic could protect against hip osteoarthritis

    Researchers at King’s College London and the University of East Anglia have discovered that women who consume a diet high in allium vegetables, such as garlic, onions and leeks, have lower levels of hip osteoarthritis.

    15 December 2010

  • Largest ever Epigenetics project launched

    One of the most ambitious large-scale projects in Human Genetics has been launched today: Epitwin will capture the subtle epigenetic signatures that mark the differences between 5,000 twins on a scale and depth never before attempted, providing key therapeutic targets for the development of drug treatments.

    07 September 2010

  • Biomarkers for CAD risk identified

    A world-wide consortium of researchers, including scientists from the Twin Research Unit at King’s College London, has identified 59 novel regions of the human genome that are involved in lipid metabolism. The concentrations of lipids, such as cholesterols, in the blood are the most important risk factors for Coronary Artery Disease (CAD).

    05 Aug 2010

  • Genetic link to vitamin D insufficiency

    New research shows that genetic factors affect the risk of a person having vitamin D insufficiency. The research, which was jointly led by the Twin Research Unit at King’s College London and Harvard University, has been published online today and will also appear in an upcoming edition of The Lancet.

    10 June 2010

  • New test for early diagnosis of osteoarthritis

    Researchers at King’s College London’s Twin Research Unit have discovered new ways of measuring metabolites in the blood which could be used to diagnose osteoarthritis earlier.

    20 April 2010

  • Moles hold the key to Melanoma Genes

    A research team led by the Twin Research Department at King’s with colleagues from Imperial College London, The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Brisbane Institute of Medical Research and Leeds has found new genes for melanoma in one of several studies published in Nature Genetics this week.

    08 July 2009

  • Novel genes found for menarche and menopause

    Genes controlling menopause and menarche have been identified in two studies by UK twin researchers at the Department of Twin Research, King’s College London and published today in Nature Genetics.

    17 May 2009

  • Emotionally intelligent women have more orgasms

    Emotional intelligence in women, the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, appears to increase their number of orgasms, suggests a study by the Department of Twin Research and published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

    12 May 2009

  • New gene link to male pattern baldness

    Researchers from King’s College London have coordinated a multicentre study where two genetic variants have been identified which, when present together in the same individual, increase the risk of male pattern baldness (otherwise known as androgenic alopecia) seven fold.

    13 October 2008

  • King’s scientists reveal first large scale gene study of knee osteoarthritis

    Scientists led by a team in the Twin Research Unit at King’s College London have investigated 500,000 gene markers in women with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. The team believe that an examination of these markers will lead to a better understanding of this debilitating condition.

    08 May 2008

  • First genome-wide scan for osteoporosis

    Research led by a group from King’s has uncovered two genes to aid diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis. The research published in the Lancet, scanned for variations in more than 20,000 human genes, uncovering the OPG and LRP5 genes which are crucial in bone density and fracture.

    30 Apr 2008

  • Exercise in leisure time prolongs life

    A study published today in the Archives of Internal Medicine by researchers at King’s College London, has shown that people who exercise more in their free time appear to be biologically younger than their more sedentary counterparts.

    29 January 2008

  • Scientists hail the ‘sunshine vitamin’

    Scientists from King’s College London have found that vitamin D may be instrumental in protecting us against certain diseases, as well as helping to slow down the ageing process.

    08 November 2007

  • Study reveals genetic link to diet

    Our diet is largely determined by genetic factors, according to a study from King’s College London. In particular, garlic lovers, coffee drinkers and those who eat plenty of fruit and vegetables are likely to have inherited their tastes from their parents.

    23 October 2007

  • World’s first genome screen for osteoarthritis

    UK scientists, including Tim Spector, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King’s, are to mount the world’s first search of the human genome for genetic risk factors for osteoarthritis.

    12 October 2007

  • Moles linked with slower ageing

    People with large numbers of moles may age slower than expected, according to a study from King’s. Researchers studied the skin and telomere length (a marker of biological ageing found on all cells in the body) of more than 1800 twins and found that people with a high number of moles had longer telomeres.

    11 July 2007

  • Finger lengths and women’s sports potential

    Can future sports stars be predicted just by looking at the length of an individual’s fingers? According to new research, led by Professor Tim Spector from the Twin Research Unit at King’s, women whose ring fingers are longer than their index fingers should achieve higher levels in sports.

    28 September 2006

  • Social status proven to be direct link to the ageing process

    People of lower socio-economic status appear to be biologically older than those in higher socio-economic groups, suggests a study led by Professor Tim Spector from the Twin Research Unit at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

    July 2006

  • Are entrepreneurs born or made?

    Could the winner of the BBC programme The Apprentice have been selected on the basis of her genes or are there other factors involved in making people entrepreneurial?

    5 June 2006

  • Protelos and Fractures in Elderly Women (over 80 years) with Osteoporosis

    Protelos® (strontium ranelate) is the first anti-osteoporotic treatment to demonstrate an early and sustained reduction for vertebral and non-vertebral fractures in women over 80 years of age. Results announced last night at the Sixth European Congress on Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis (ECCEO), from trials of 1,488 women, show that even in the very elderly, it is not too late to effectively treat the disease.

    17 March 2006

  • Protelos Demonstrates Unique Long Term Osteoporotic Fracture Reduction

    The results of two landmark studies announced today at the Sixth European Congress on Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis (ECCEO), confirms the evidence based, long-term efficacy of Protelos (strontium ranelate) for the reduction of nonvertebral and vertebral osteoporotic fractures over five years. This is the first time an anti-osteoporotic treatment has demonstrated fracture reduction efficacy after five years of treatment.

    17 March 2006

  • Multiple genes found to play major role in knee osteoarthritis

    Eight genes have been identified as playing a major part in the development of osteoarthritis of the knee in a study of 1,200 UK patients published in the leading journal Arthritis & Rheumatism today.

    February 2006

  • New study presented at ASBMR Conference suggests choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid improves bone health benefits of calcium and vitamin D

    Results from a new clinical trial add to mounting evidence that choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid (ch-OSA) supplementation supports physiological roles in bone health and type I collagen synthesis.

    September 2005

  • Study finds link between genes and body odour

    A joint study from The Twin Research Unit at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and Newcastle University has found that genes play a significant part in determining body odour and therefore every person’s odour is completely individual to them.

    20 September 2005

  • Medical researchers see double

    Around 35 pairs of identical and non-identical twins are today (Thursday, June 23) descending on the University of Aberdeen to help further medical research.

    23 June 2005

  • Smoking and obesity accelerate human ageing

    People who smoke, or are obese, are biologically older than slim individuals and non-smokers, suggests a study published online today (Tuesday June 14, 2005) by THE LANCET.

    14 June 2005

  • Protelos® significantly reduces non vertebral fracture risk in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis

    The results of the TROPOS (Treatment of Peripheral Osteoporosis) study, published today in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism show that strontium ranelate (Protelos®) significantly reduces the risk of all non vertebral and, in a high risk group, hip fractures over three years.

    4 May 2005

  • Blame your genes for a restless night’s sleep – new research revealed

    New research carried out by doctors in the Twin Research Unit at St Thomas’ Hospital, London, indicates that genetic factors make a “substantial contribution” to common sleep disorders.

    24 November 2004

  • Twin study reveals genetic role in female infidelity

    A confidential survey of more than 1,600 pairs of female twins has revealed that genetic factors have a substantial impact on how likely women are to cheat on their partner and how many sexual partners they will have.

    24 November 2004

  • Protelos, first in new class of osteoporosis therapies launched today

    Protelos (strontium ranelate), the only osteoporosis therapy to simultaneously increase bone formation and decrease bone resorption, was launched today by Servier Laboratories. The first in a new class of osteoporosis therapies called dual action bone agents (DABAs), Protelos is licenced for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis to reduce the risk of vertebral and hip fracture.

    22 November 2004

  • Twin study reveals genetic link to myopia

    New research carried out by doctors in the Twin Research Unit at St Thomas’ Hospital, London, indicates that a gene called PAX6 may play a crucial part in the development of myopia.

    29 July 2004

  • Moderate drinking does not increase risk of brittle bones in women

    New research carried out by doctors in the Twin Research Unit at St Thomas’ Hospital, London, indicates that a gene called PAX6 may play a crucial part in the development of myopia.

    1 July 2004

  • How can we use Twin Research To Identify the effects of Sun Ageing and Sun Damage

    The Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology Unit at St Thomas’ Hospital, London is renowned for have the most widely studied database of twins in the world. It has nearly 10,000 adult twin volunteers on its books and has studied everything from obesity and back pain to sense of humour.

    March 2004