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Are your friends genetically close to you ?


Posted on Tuesday, 15 July, 2014 | Comment icon 22 comments

How genetically similar to your friends are you ? Image Credit: sxc.hu
New research suggests that we have a tendancy to befriend people who have similar DNA to our own.
The study, which involved comparing the DNA of unrelated friends, found that the people we tend to choose as friends can often turn out to be as genetically similar to ourselves as two people who happen to share great-great-great grandparents.

"We are somehow, among a myriad of possibilities, managing to select, as friends, the people who resemble our kin," said Professor Nicholas Christakis of Yale University.

While the specific way in which we determine who our friends are on this type of genetic basis remains a mystery, researchers believe that there are likely to have been evolutionary advantages in this for early humans such as a reduction in the spread of disease among social groups.

"Looking across the whole genome we find that, on average, we are genetically similar to our friends," said study co-author Professor James Fowler. "We have more DNA in common with the people we pick as friends than we do with strangers in the same population."

Source: Telegraph | Comments (22)

Tags: DNA, Friends


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #13 Posted by mattyoghostss on 16 July, 2014, 13:13
this explains a lot..
Comment icon #14 Posted by Taun on 16 July, 2014, 14:47
I sure hope they are!.. .You never know when you'll need "spare parts"...
Comment icon #15 Posted by Lilly on 16 July, 2014, 17:22
Uh...this hypothesis doesn't apply well to my friends. I'm ethnically English/Irish/Scottish/Dutch. My friends are as follows: Sciclian Italian German/Swiss Vietnamese/French Russian/Ukranian Northern Italian/Irish Not even close to being genetically similar to me.
Comment icon #16 Posted by TheSpoonyOne on 16 July, 2014, 22:26
Well only a few of those ethnicities are outside of Europe, so it's not that far-fetched. A German is a lot more likely to gravitate towards an Englishman, Dutchman or a Scotsman, if we're going by this study, than he/she would be with someone from South Korea or Nigeria, the fact they are different ethnic groups (although German and Dutch are essentially indistinguishable in that regard AFAIK) doesn't mean they are as distant as someone from the latter places. Although none of this is particularly news to me, one need only open their eyes at any given shopping centre to see that... [More]
Comment icon #17 Posted by Lilly on 17 July, 2014, 0:39
The thing is in my case all of my friends are Americans. We can trace our genetic and cultural roots to the various countries mentioned, but in the final analysis we're all still Americans.
Comment icon #18 Posted by GlennThe14TH on 17 July, 2014, 1:53
I've never thought of it, but I suppose all my friends I've accumulated over the years are genetically similar to me. We're all human beings. I have African-American friends, Italian-American friends, Hispanic friends, a half-Japanese friend, a couple of Indian Muslim friends, several Indian Hindu friends, etc.
Comment icon #19 Posted by SaraT on 17 July, 2014, 8:01
Well I don't know if they're genetically close to me. I suppose I'm one of the few who hasn't collected DNA samples from my friends and had them analysed. PS: I think their research is rubbish.
Comment icon #20 Posted by chaostrom on 18 July, 2014, 16:55
*Raises hand* How about me? I have friends with whom I don't share ethnicity, nationality or religion. Half of them aren't even the same age as me. Hell, some of them I've befriended purely over the internet and have never even been in the same time zone with, let alone met. Been good friends with some of them for many years now.
Comment icon #21 Posted by regeneratia on 27 July, 2014, 18:38
My best friend is Korean, here in the USA since she was 6 months old. I don't think we are genetically linked. My next best is second generation American, Hungarian Roma. I don't think we are genetically linked. But the third best may well be genetically linked since we come from the same state, with families that have been in this state for generations.


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