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July 30, 1960

Genetic Basis of Morphological Variation: An Evaluation and Application of the Twin Study Method

JAMA. 1960;173(13):1510. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03020310098038

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This monograph presents a brief review of the methodology of twin studies and the results of applying some of these methods to a series of measurements on a group of monozygotic and dizygotic twins. In addition to containing variance analyses for detecting genetic components in 62 classical anthropometric measures, the book includes analyses based on Sheldon's somatotyping scale and on a masculine-feminine body-build scale devised by the authors. Unlike many previous twin studies, the authors have wisely included the variances of measurement errors (based on the differences between two measurements of the same dimension on a single person). Both the foreword (by Theodosius Dobzhansky) and the text emphasize the importance of learning more about polygenic inheritance in man and the fact that twins provide an excellent resource, not only for this purpose, but also for the equally important task of assaying the role of environmental factors in man, both in

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