Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Have No Fear, Your Genes May Help You Find Love


When it comes to love, people will do anything to find the right partner. Whether it be dating sites, going to bars on the weekends, or blind dates people are on the constant search find true love. Turns out, no matter how hard we try to find our "perfect man/woman", our genes already have it all figured out. People may think they have a "type" such as tall, dark, and handsome, but odds are that if you're Irish theres a small chance that is who you end up with.

Researchers at the University of California- Berkeley, Harvard University, University of California- San Francisco, and Tel Aviv University have studied how couples pair up in certain communities such as Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Results show that both males and females tend to attract mates who are in fact similar to them. This is a concept known as assortative mating and it is a phenomenon that can be seen amongst all races, ages, and body types.

In a 2009 study researchers found that out of 90 married couples and 152 random pairs, the 90 married couples were found with more diverse MHCs. MCHs are a genetic region that plays a role in immune response and reproductive success. The scientists believed this to be the result of an evolutionary strategy to increase reproductive success.

Also, another study was conducted at University of Colorado- Boulder where researchers studied the genetic profiles of 825 white couples. The study examined the single-nucleotide polymorphisms which are the parts of the DNA that show how humans differ from one another. The researchers found that married individuals are more likely to be genetically similar than two random individuals from the same population.



It is difficult to believe that people really have much less control over who they date or marry than they think. People learn to rely too much on their brains when in fact they should just follow their heart and if their lucky their genes may help them find their perfect match.

References:
 Al-Khatib, T. (2015, October 19). Attraction Guided by our Genes. Retrieved February 24, 2016, from http://news.discovery.com/human/genetics/attraction-guided-by-our-genes-151019.htm 

Posted By: Ashley Geary (1)


7 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. This is pretty interesting. I've heard of a dating service with a similar concept where people choose their partners based of their smell. I'm not sure if genetics is a reliable method in finding your match, but this is certainly interesting to think about.

    - Mahder Haile

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  3. My first thought after reading this was, "I wonder if the researchers conducting these studies were white, and had they not been white would we have gotten different data." I think this article - or maybe the research- may be a little biased towards one race. I also wonder how old this study is and if a more recently performed study would yield different results and numbers. I also wonder what you would find if you were to do a study focusing on the genetic similarity of multi-race couples and families and see how they compare with the studies done on white couples. Or the genetic similarity between gay/lesbian couples and how that compares! I'd be interested to read about those studies!

    -Kelsey Morrison

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    1. These are some very interesting points and I agree that there are some sources of bias in the experiments. It would be interesting to see if the results would change if they tweaked the experiments, but this article does lead you to believe that the results would still be the same. The original article also mentioned that there had been some issues of bias due to the fact that the majority of the couples tested came from the same community. This clearly skews the data because people that live so closely are more likely to be genetically similar.

      Ashley Geary

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  4. It's pretty special that besides similar interests, the couples even had similar genes. Maybe there is more to finding a partner than we think. Sadly, on a darker note, this could lead to an increased chance to having children with recessive mutations. If the couples have similar SNPs, that means they could both pass down the same SNP to their offspring. Not all SNPs are bad of course, but it's something to think about, especially since we now have the power to sequence our own genome.

    - Chris Richard (Group3)

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    1. That's interesting, recessive mutations is something I had not thought of. In the original article it did mention that due to the similarity in genes between these couples there will be both positive and negative consequences. It would be interesting to do further research on the effects of similar genes in parents on their offspring. I would predict that if communities continued to inbreed in this manner the offspring would eventually have severe birth defects.

      Ashley Geary

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  5. I found this blog to be very interesting. It never crossed my mind that individuals can be together as a result of their genetic similarities. I do, however, agree with some of my classmates on how the article is very biased towards one race. If more than once race was studied, then the theory could have been proven to be more accurate. Nonetheless, it is an interesting topic.

    -Soffie Jobarteh

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