Leighton Middle twins star in Christmas Lectures with Professor Alice Roberts

Identical Stanbridge twins starred in UK flagship science series, The Christmas Lectures, which saw presenters conduct experiments to investigate just how similar the siblings really are!

Thursday, 17th January 2019, 9:56 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 4:33 pm
Richie - left. Ronnie - right.
Richie - left. Ronnie - right.

Ronnie and Richie Paice, 11, of Leighton Middle School, took part in an episode of the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, which was broadcast on BBC4 on December 28.

Presented by Professor Alice Roberts, the lectures aimed to answer the fundamental question ‘Who Am I?’, and during the third episode, scientists investigated how the interplay between genetic variation and the environment makes us all different – “even identical twins”.

Richie - left. Ronnie - right.

Ronnie and Richie’s mother, Sasha Paice, said: “I got an email saying the show was looking for identical twins.

“Ronnie and Richie are really into science at school - they are fascinated - so we applied.

“The part that made everyone laugh [during the lecture] was when they had to put their hands in a bucket of ice water to see if they would react the same. They wore ear defenders and had their backs to each other, and my instant thought was: ‘They won’t take their hands out!’

“The conclusion was that twins have a similar pain threshold but the presenters couldn’t believe that Ronnie and Richie kept their hands in for the full two minutes!

Ronnie - left. Richie - right

“They play football every Saturday so they are used to the cold.”

During the show, guest Dr Arwyn Edwards placed some samples of the twins’ spit into a DNA sequencer machine, which the team could use to see how many different types of bacteria were growing in Ronnie and Richie’s mouths.

The siblings had 166 of the same species, Richie had 25 unique species, and Ronnie had 18 unique species, showing that even though their genomes are identical and their daily habits are very similar, they have bacteria that makes them unique.

But what do they boys enjoy about being identical?

The plant stem cell cake made by Ronnie and Richie, who enjoy working together on projects. Mum, Sasha, has been receiving several phone calls from their teacher, Miss Holmes, praising their efforts in the subject.

Ronnie said: “It’s great when people get us mixed up, and funny when people realise that there are two of us who look exactly the same.”

Richie said: “You always have someone with you - a best friend for life.”

The boys are in the same class at school and recently won a Headteacher’s Award for their scrumptious science project - a plant stem cell cake!

To tell them apart, friends say one twin has a freckle above the lip and one has another below, while Sasha says that Richie has a huskier voice.

Can you tell them apart? Visit @paicetwins on Instagram.

You can also watch their episode below: