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See Inside Scientific American Volume 306, Issue 3

Jumping Genes in the Brain Ensure That Even Identical Twins Are Different

How can identical twins grow up with different personalities? "Jumping genes" move around in neurons and alter the way they work



Jean-Francois Podevin

Your brain is special.

So is mine. Differences arise at every level of the organ’s astonishingly intricate architecture; the human brain contains 100 billion neurons, which come in thousands of types and collectively form an estimate of more than 100 trillion interconnections. These differences, in turn, lead to variances in the ways we think, learn and behave and in our propensity for mental illness.

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