FOX43 Finds Out: Putting at home DNA kits to the test

YORK TOWNSHIP, PA  -- Jason and Justin Baughman have lived as identical twins for almost 30 years, matching outfits and all.

"When I look at our baby pictures I can`t tell who`s who. I have no idea. Our mom had to paint our finger nails and toe nails or something," said Jason.

They seemed like the perfect pair to test different at home DNA kits to see if they really are accurate.

Because technically - identical twins should have identical DNA, right?

Justin said, "I expected everything to be the same honestly."

Justin and Jason tried out Ancestry DNA, 23 and Me and My Heritage tests.

Ancestry DNA kit costing $99, 23 and Me cost the same and My Heritage is the cheapest  at $59, on sale from $79.

After about 2 months, the twins got their results.

The results from Ancestry were not identical.

The Ethnicity estimate showed Justin having a higher percentage of his DNA from Great Britain and Scandinavia when compared to Jason's.

Next up: 23 and me.

And again the results were not the same.

For most of the breakdowns, the twins were just a few percentage points off.

Even when you look at the Chromosomes, 23 and Me says Justin and Jason are just a bit different.

"At least we always thought that our DNA`s we were told were the same. So it`s kind of cool to see that they are slightly different," said Justin.

The last results are from My Heritage.

Remember, this one is the cheapest at home test.

The results from this one were the same, finding the twins are 100% North and West European.

We took the results from all three tests to Millersville University to have some DNA experts explain why these identical twins would, in at least two of the tests, have different DNA.

It turns out these twins, who were told they were identical since they day they were born, are not identical at all.

At least that's what these experts think.

Jonathan Stoltzfus, a professor at Millersville said "What looks to be a fairly straightforward case where the doctors thought they were identical twins but, now that they have DNA sequencing, it really just looks like their siblings - or in this case - fraternal twins."

The professors at Millersville are pretty confident the twins are fraternal, saying those DNA kits or at least 23 and Me in their opinion, are reliable.

Professor Maja Klosinska said, "You get a pretty accurate picture of the persons DNA."

It's not all that uncommon for twins to think they're identical, when they're really not.

"About 20% of twins actually have mistaken identity of fraternal twins being misdiagnosed as identical twins and vice versa. So it`s not all that rare of an event," Stoltzfus said.

FOX43 Finds Out had to break the news to the twins.

The twins say finding out they're likely fraternal won't really change anything for them, their mom and dad though?  That's a different story.

"My parents are going to be mind blown."

As for what test the experts thought was best, they said 23 and Me seemed to give the most accurate picture.

If you have a story you want Jackie to look into, FOX43 wants to find out. Send her a message on Facebook or email FOX43FindsOut@fox43.com.

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