‘Friends may have similar genomes’


A new study conducted by the researchers at two American universities claims that friends resemble each other genetically.

The study that carried out at the University of California, San Diego, and Yale University revealed genetic similarities among friends.

Researchers took a genome-wide analysis of some 1.5 million markers of gene variation through applying data from the Framingham Heart Study, according to the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The team compared pairs of unrelated friends against pairs of unrelated strangers with focusing on 1932 unique subjects.

The results showed that t friends shared about 0.1% more DNA, on average, than strangers.

“Looking across the whole genome, we find that, on average, we are genetically similar to our friends. We have more DNA in common with the people we pick as friends than we do with strangers in the same population,” said the study coauthor James Fowler, professor of medical genetics and political science at UC San Diego.

“One percent may not sound like much to the layperson, but to geneticists it is a significant number,” explained the study researcher Nicholas Christakis, professor of sociology, evolutionary biology, and medicine at Yale.

The researchers emphasized that they excluded any one of participants that had any relatedness.

Other researchers have discussed about different factors that could affect the results of the recent study such as ethnicity or other types of “population stratification” which could make people both genetically similar and more likely to be friends.

An earlier study demonstrated that husbands and wives also tend to be genetically similar.

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