Those clever people over at Yale and the University of California have dished the goods on DNA similarities between friends. The study, undertaken on 1.9 million gene variations, found startling results. Results were clear that those we choose as friends have similar DNA genetic traits such as taste and smell.
It is no secret menstrual cycles of women who live together will be in tune therefore the results are no surprise. The one per cent link sounds minimal; to geneticists however, it is significant. The scientists declared comparisons of fourth cousins.
Our friends have similar tastes and habits to us, likely the reason we feel drawn towards certain people and not others. Strangers who we pass in the street daily, we do not feel drawn to. Yet some of the strongest friendships have formed from the strangest of places. Two women can walk into the ‘ladies’ room as strangers and emerge as best friends. Yet the same is not said for men. This is a clear gender difference and men do not make close friendships as frequently as women do. The study details clearly the DNA links are across society as a whole. Genes we share with friends change and evolve more than the genes we do not share.
We can have a head-nodding agreement on this study. It makes one think of the friends we have in our lives, delve into their psyche, and compare theirs to our own. If we look hard enough, we should not be surprised. Friends do have similar tastes and lifestyles. As human beings, we are attracted to people of similar natures across a vast range of cultures. Why are we attracted to people? What is it that makes people feel attracted to other people?
Sense of Smell
There is a well-known saying; “Friends are the family one chooses” and this study digs deeply into DNA and the close links humans share with people who are in their social environment. We do prefer the company of people whom we resemble. The research shows that pairs of friends have close links and it is not difficult to understand why. It is enlightening the study shows the most common gene between pairs of friends is the olfactory gene, which is genetically associated with our sense of smell. Explanations possibly, of why a female friend can often pick out a new perfume on her friend within a flash.
The study explores the theory of the fourth-cousin relationship. Most of us are not aware who our fourth cousins are, but friends are chosen due to resemblances of our kin. It is almost as though the study is suggesting a sub-conscious action. If we take a person’s handwriting style as an example, which is a sub-conscious action. Handwriting experts are able to study styles and can picked out forgeries, as a person’s handwriting style will give them away. We know this to be true. Handwriting techniques are similar to fingerprints; each individual has a unique print.
Of course, the results are eye opening and help us to understand our inner choices and the relationships we undertake, as with every piece of research, it can be argued. Given the study was carried out with the Caucasian group only, it is does not help to explain cross-cultural relationships and we know these exist. The study looked at friends and those who could be friends within the homogenous group of Caucasians. Using a score method, scientists looked at people who were not friends could be due to the genetic links shared.
The speech gene was studied and as has already been proven, if any person was the first person on the planet to speak, yet nobody else could, speech could not develop. Babies learn to speak from the way their parents talk to them. The sub-conscious action is to teach children to say Mama and Papa first. If this interaction is not performed, speech would die out. Friends share immense amounts of information via speech. Furthermore, the purpose of the speech gene shows how speech evolves and is often shared between friends.
Evolution – lest we not forget…
The study quantifies the theory of evolution and helps to explain how evolution emerges in the human race. While friends do not reproduce as two people as a natural course of action, it helps to explain why humans choose the friends they do. It also opens up the evolution dialogue widely and can aid resolving of difficulties between close relationships we undertake.