The Turner Twins are part of a research programme led by the King’s College London Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology.
Hugo and Ross are part of the Department’s TwinsUK registry of over 13,000 twins that the researchers study in order to better understand the genetic and environmental causes of common age-related traits and diseases such as short-sightedness, osteoporosis, cancer, pain, diabetes and obesity.
To find out more about the Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology, click here.
The Intrepid Explorers team interviewed the Twins just before they set off and will follow their progress, hosting in the Autumn an event to share both the research findings and the twins' experience of the expedition.
The twins aim to raise £250,000 for Spinal Research inspired by an accident when Hugo was 17 that resulted in his C7 vertebrae being crushed. Following surgery for neck reconstruction Hugo has made an impressive recovery and the twins now embark on challenges to raise awareness and funds for Spinal Research.
Spinal Research is a pioneering charity engaged in finding ways to repair spinal cord injury and reverse the paralysis that results from it. Spinal Research funds groundbreaking projects at scientific and medical institutions around the world.
To find out more about Spinal Research and support the Twins on their Greenland Treck, click here.
First they rowed across the Atlantic…
Now they’re undertaking a unique expedition across the polar ice cap of Greenland, inspired by the British explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton but with a distinctly modern twist!
After rowing 3,000 miles across the Atlantic, Hugo and Ross - the Turner Twins - want to embark on a series of challenges, pitching themselves against the elements, crossing the boundaries of endurance, both physically and mentally.
The polar exploits of Sir Ernest Shackleton, are the inspiration behind this current challenge, the aim of which is to trek 340 miles across the wild and desolate wastes of the Greenland polar ice cap from Kangerlassauq to Tasillaq.
The Modern Twist!
Pulling their sleds across inhospitable terrain, where gigantic glaciers and crevasses are constantly lashed by cruel polar winds, is not enough of a challenge for these twins. In addition, they are taking part in a research project to reveal how modern clothes, food and equipment protect the body.
One will use modern equipment, while the other will use the same kit and provisions as Shackleton did 100 years ago during the famous ‘Endurance’ expedition to Antarctica.
The twins have had two additional clinical visits, the first before they began training and the second, as part of a pre-expedition visit in April during the peak of their training. Their final additional clinical visit will be after they have completed the expedition.
As Hugo and Ross are identical, and therefore share 100% of their genes, any differences between them will be due to the environment that they have been exposed to during their expedition.
The data collected will reveal how the different equipment and provisions impact them physiologically during their time in Greenland.
The Intrepid Explorers team are interested in the implications the research findings could have for improving the safeguarding of physiological health during research fieldwork, fieldtrips and expeditions.