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Doppelgängers share more than their looks, they also have similar DNA

A new study found that doppelgängers share similar DNA traits.

How many times have you heard the term doppelgänger? That strange coincidence of finding another person that looks exactly like you. Well, this crazy fact was studied by geneticists who found striking similarities not only in doppelgänger’s looks but also in their lifestyle traits and even their DNA.

According to a new study published in the journal Cell Reports, after analyzing with facial recognition software pairs of doppelgängers and running DNA tests, they found that these persons that share physical traits, also have genetic similarities, which means, they share traits of their DNA despite not being related at all.

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You might find interesting: Here’s Why You’ve Probably Ran Into Your Doppelgänger According To Science

To do so, they collaborated with the Canadian photographer François Brunelle who has been traveling the world since 1999 to capture portraits of strangers that are almost identical to his project “I’m not a look-alike!”.

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Researchers used facial recognition software to analyze the headshots of 32 pairs of Brunelle’s models and computed a score to quantify similarities among their faces. Then, they compared the scores of true identical twins and found that the software qualified Brunelle’s model twins since they were given an almost exact score.

But that was not everything. Scientists also studied the participant’s DNA and found that 9 of the 16 pairs with the most physical similarities share many common genetic variations known as single nucleotide polymorphisms. Giving them a label of almost virtual twins.

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But the likeness between the pair of doppelgängers did not stop on DNA and physical traits, but also in lifestyle characteristics such as weight, smoking habits, and even level of education.

“Thus, humans with a similar face might also share a more comprehensive physical, and probably behavioral, phenotype that relates to their shared genetic variants”, reads the study.

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Despite being similar in many aspects, look-alikes did not share microbiomes or communities of helpful and harmful microbes that live on and in the human body, which may suggest that the only responsible for doppelgängers is DNA.

After analyzing the subjects, researchers also found that most of the look-alike pairs were of European ancestry, with a total of 13; 1 was Hispanic, 1 East Asian, and 1 Central-South Asian.

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An earlier study concluded that there is only one in 135 chance of finding two people with the exact same features, meaning that this new research can help not only in genetics but also in forensics and even prevent DNA-related diseases.

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