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Twin Town

Here's a party to get geneticist's googly-eyed: a whole town in Ohio, called Twinsburg, held a festival earlier this month in which two thousand sets of identical twins descended on the city for a long weekend of twin-ness, Amy Nordrum writes in The Atlantic.

Although the Twins Days festival was created as a party for twins – Twinsburg was named for the Wilcox brothers, twins who lived there in the 1800s – dozens of research projects have emanated from the party.

Over the weekend, most of the twins take time out to step into research tents in the name of science.

"They're very aware that what they are is genetically interesting and the fact that people want to study that is something that resonates with them," says Paul Breslin, a Rutgers University scientist who studies taste and smell.

"What makes [Twins Days] a fantastic opportunity is that you can get effectively a year’s worth of data in three days if you really work hard," he says.

The festival hosts 16 research booths per year, including studies that go well beyond genetics, such as a study that takes advantage of the twins' similarities to tweak facial recognition software, and another that is examining the lifestyle choices twins make and how those habits can impact their appearance.

Next year the town will host its 40th Twin Days.