Vanishing twin
The disappearance before birth of one twin. Of all twin pregnancies, 40% result in the birth of a single child. The other twin is lost. This is the "vanishing twin" phenomenon. A gene that influences the prenatal survival of dizygotic (non-identical) twins is on chromosome 3 and is known as PPAR-gamma. Twins carrying the same variant of this gene may develop at the same pace. However, when the twins are carrying different variants of the gene, one twin may develop at the expense of the other. (The PPAR-gamma gene is also involved in fat metabolism and in regulating body weight.)

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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