In studying Sociology, or studying any other subject at a research-led university like the University of Leicester, you come to realise just how important research is. In this blog I am going to tell you about the research for which I am participant in the hope that it will be of interest to you.
Since Alice (my twin sister) and I were born we have been participants in the Twins Early Development Study. TEDS look at how genes and environment affect and shape our development from birth to young adults. It is one of the world premier studies in this area as over 15,000 participants, researchers and academics are involved with the study. How did we get involved? Well, using birth records of all twins born in England and Wales between 1994 and 1996, the TEDS research team contacted parents of twins and invited them to take part in the study. Ever since my Mum agreed to take part we’ve completed numerous online activities, questionnaires and even face-to-face meetings at various points in our life. Their next big study is TEDS 21 which will look at the predictors of outcomes in emerging adulthood. I love the fact that I am part of research which has sociological significance!
A couple of months ago the TEDS team put us in contact with Twins UK. This is another Twins research programme but one which focuses on health. We found out that they have provided significant insight into the importance of genetic and environmental factors on health conditions and had made particularly big discoveries in relation to Alzheimer’s prevention. We therefore decided to sign up and become participants . If you are a twin, identical or not, then please consider joining the study too because the research produces very useful scientific data. So far our participation has consisted of a visit to St Thomas’ hospital in London to undergo various medical tests such as a blood test, eye test, fitness test and bone-density scan. That might sound a bit daunting but it was actually pretty good fun and we got a free lunch and all travel expenses paid for. And it gives you a chance see if there is anything medically wrong with you that you might not realise. Here is a link to the sign up page if you’re interested.