The oldest child in a family is usually the most successful. Even identical twins are not really identical. And for some reason, the marriages that produce the most children are unions between distant cousins.

New research shows that first-born children get about 3,000 more hours of quality time with their parents between ages 4 and 13 than the next sibling gets when they pass through the same age range, which is probably why older children tend to get more education, make more money and score higher on IQ tests. Economist Joseph Price says, “We’ve known for a long time that eldest children have better outcomes, and these findings on quality time provide one explanation why.”

And what about TWINS? Scientists have long asked the question: Are identical twins REALLY identical? A new study shows they are not?there are subtle differences in twin?s DNA. Researchers studied 19 pairs of identical twins and found subtle differences in their DNA.

Researcher Carl Bruder says, “The presumption has always been that identical twins are identical down to their DNA. That’s mostly true, but our findings suggest that there are small, subtle differences?Those differences may point the way to better understanding of genetic diseases when we study [cases] where one twin has a disorder and the other does not.”

And what about “kissing cousins?” Icelandic researcher Agnar Helgason found that the marriages that produce the most children are between distant cousins. In small rural areas, where people never venture far from home, they are more likely to meet and marry their blood relations, but nobody knows why these marriages produce so many offspring.

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