Health: Genetic Friendships

A recent study published in Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Science suggests that friends are actually genetically similar to one another. Not only do we connect with our friends on an emotional and/or mental level, but also, we connect with them physically, in terms of what exactly goes on with our bodies and DNA. Supposedly, we have more DNA in common with the people we choose to be our friends, in comparison to strangers and people we do not know, in the same population. The study that helped researchers come to this conclusion is called the Framingham Heart Study, and it was started in 1948. The study was designed to identify genetic and environmental factors that influence cardiovascular development and the development of several other diseases. The study has been carried out across multiple generations, and involved over 1,900 subjects. Data from the study has shown that we share around 1% of our genes with our friends. The strongest genes that we have in common are our olfactory, or smell-related, genes. In other words, friends tend to smell things the same way, and that has been constant since the prehistoric days.

 

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