Twin Sisters -- One Black, One White?

ByABC News
October 26, 2006, 7:44 PM

Oct. 26, 2006 — -- Kian and Remee Horder are healthy, rambunctious twin sisters, born in Britain last year.

But to meet them is to get a surprise. Kian is what almost all of us would label as black, with chocolate-colored skin and curly black hair. Remee is blond and fair-skinned.

Twins of different races? Can that be? They have the same parents and the same family tree. They developed together in their mother's womb and were born within minutes of each other.

Their parents tell us they had no fertility treatments. No child was switched at birth in the hospital. It was just a case of nature offering a surprise.

They may look like they're from a different family, but that's not how their father views his daughters."I just can't understand why they're different, when, to me, they're not," said Remi Horder, their father. "They're just the same birth, mixed, biracial."

Their mother, Kylee Hodgson, joined in saying, "I definitely didn't notice the color difference at first."

But other people did -- and the sisters quickly became darlings of the British news media.

Another set of black-and-white twins surfaced just this week in Queensland, Australia; their pictures have commanded high prices in the world's tabloids.

But ask geneticists, and they'll say they're not that impressed. Twins who appear to be of different races are rare, but they're far from impossible.

And perhaps more important, some scientists said, they show how flimsy the concept of race has become in the modern world.

"It's not that unusual because of the way genes are transmitted from parent to child," said Lee Silver, a Princeton University geneticist.

The Human Genome Project, which deciphered the details of the DNA molecules that make us who we are, found that of the 25,000-35,000 genes that every human being has, only about 10 play a major role in determining skin color.