Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Your Genes May Help Pick Your Friends

0 comments
A person´s DNA may play a big role in who they decide to hang with, a new study suggests.
A person's DNA may play a big role in who they decide to hang with, a new study suggests. iStock

(HealthDay News) -- A person's DNA may play a big role in who they decide to hang with, a new study suggests.

"Looking across the whole genome, we find that, on average, we are genetically similar to our friends," study co-author James Fowler, a professor of medical genetics and political science at the University of California, San Diego, said in a university news release.

"We have more DNA in common with the people we pick as friends than we do with strangers in the same population," he said.

In the study, Fowler's team analyzed the genes of more than 1,900 people who were either pairs of unrelated friends or unrelated strangers.

More coverage
  • What do women want in men? It's not that simple
  • He and his colleagues found that friends share about one percent of their genes and are as much "related" as fourth cousins or people who share great-great-great grandparents.

    "One percent may not sound like much to the layperson, but to geneticists it is a significant number," study co-author Nicholas Christakis, a professor of sociology, evolutionary biology and medicine at Yale University, said in the news release.

    "And how remarkable: Most people don't even know who their fourth cousins are! Yet we are somehow, among a myriad of possibilities, managing to select as friends the people who resemble our kin," he added.

    The researchers also developed what they call a "friendship score" that can be used to predict who will be friends. It's about as accurate as genetic-based methods of predicting a person's risk of obesity or schizophrenia.

    The study was published July 14 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    More information

    Mental Health America explains the importance of connecting with others.

     

    -- Robert Preidt

    SOURCE: University of California, San Diego, news release, July 14, 2014

    Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
    0 comments
    We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
    Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

    Comment policy:

    Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

    Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

    Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

    Read 0 comments
     
    comments powered by Disqus
    Latest Health Videos
    Also on Philly.com:
    letter icon Newsletter