Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Biotech The Internet Science

New Dating Sites Match People Through DNA Tests 278

Posted by Soulskill
from the unzipping-your-genes dept.
The Installer writes with this excerpt from an Associated Press report: "A couple of genetic testing companies are promising to match couples based on DNA testing, touting the benefits of biological compatibility. The companies claim that a better biological match will mean better sex, less cheating, longer-lasting love and perhaps even healthier children. 'How many dating services can you think of where they can suggest you might have better children?' said Eric Holzle, founder of ScientificMatch.com, one of the first online dating sites to use DNA. ... The idea is that people tend to be attracted to those who have immune system genes that are dissimilar from their own. Biologists say the HLA genes of the immune system — which are responsible for recognizing and marking foreign cells such as viruses so other parts of the immune system can attack them — also determine body odor 'fingerprints.' And people tend to be attracted to the natural body odors of those who have different HLA genes from their own."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

New Dating Sites Match People Through DNA Tests

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 15, 2009 @03:29PM (#30107834)

    "Incest Is Best Inc"

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      The company name is actually Love Sciences, LLC [domaintools.com]

    • by Foobar of Borg (690622) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @11:34PM (#30111684)

      "Incest Is Best Inc"

      Well, at least it's better than the company that uses exact matches, called "Go Fuck Yourself, Inc."

  • Hey baby... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 15, 2009 @03:31PM (#30107858)
    Nice genes...
  • Hmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shrtcircuit (936357) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @03:31PM (#30107862)
    Yeah... Submit your DNA profile to a for-profit corporation that lets you do things with it through a web interface. Your info will never be hacked. Your info will never be sold. Your info will never be given to government agencies. Trust us.

    What could possibly go wrong here?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Who cares if people have your DNA info? What's it good for? They can't use it to take your money or anything, you tinfoil-hatter.

      • Re:Hmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @04:02PM (#30108244) Journal
        While the science is still in its infancy, there are already a fair few bits of genome that your insurance company would probably enjoy having a look at.
      • Re:Hmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by commodore64_love (1445365) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @05:01PM (#30108848) Journal

        >>>DNA info? What's it good for?

        Watch the movie GATTACA where people were denied jobs (or vice-versa promoted) strictly based upon their DNA. The ability for bosses, politicians, whoever to just look at your "program code" and filter for the best candidate is dangerous. It takes away opportunity who may be slightly dumber, but with more determination and focus to get the job done. (Again I recommend watching gattaca... one of the best science movies of the last two decades.)

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Threni (635302)

          No, Gattaca is a boring film. There's scope for a genuinely good film which tackles the same/similar issues.

        • by radtea (464814)

          The ability for bosses, politicians, whoever to just look at your "program code" and filter for the best candidate is dangerous

          But in a free market that'll mean that companies that don't do such stupid things will out-compete the ones who do, right? Unless of course actual performance is really just an unpredictable crap-shoot!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nEoN nOoDlE (27594)

      Your info will never be given to government agencies.

      If the government wants to get into the match-making industry, more power to 'em!

      Seriously, do you really think that anybody cares about your DNA information that much as to hack into this site? There's really nothing that your DNA can be used for that criminals or the government would even want it for at this point. You can't even perform identity theft with it! Is there really a large black market for this information? If someone really wanted your DNA, I'm sure they could get a good sample by going throu

  • by decipher_saint (72686) * on Sunday November 15, 2009 @03:32PM (#30107870) Homepage

    It's bad enough that I'm legally blind but now I can add it to the list of attributes that might reduce my chances of procreating (as if analyst and programmer weren't bad enough).

    Enjoy your gene pool, jerkwads!

    • by andy1307 (656570)

      as if analyst

      If you're doing it anally, your chances of procreation are not very high.

    • by dbcad7 (771464)
      That your legally blind increases the chance of some women of procreating, much in the way that beer does.
  • Untrue (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mikkeles (698461) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @03:38PM (#30107970)

    'The companies claim that a better biological match will mean better sex, less cheating, longer-lasting love and perhaps even healthier children.'

    They're lying.

    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      What's funny is that the only remotely possible claim is "healthier children".

      And it's easier to do a family medical history than to run the
      stack of gene tests which would give you the same information.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by tonycheese (921278)
        No, the idea behind this company is that people tend to be attracted to people who have different immune system and proteins from them, something that apparently we can tell by smell. The biological reason for this is that our children will be healthier, literally, and everything is just a side-effect from our bodies.
        • Re:Untrue (Score:5, Informative)

          by tonycheese (921278) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @05:06PM (#30108900)
          Here [discovery.com], Discovery Channel did an article focusing on Scientific Match and another company doing the same thing that talks more about the science behind it. But, like the Komo News article, it points out that it's not very likely to work with such a small sample size of both people and genes.
          • by MikeURL (890801)
            I think the small sample size argument is actually one of the most compelling reasons to do this kind of testing on a broad scale.

            Even someone who dates a lot will only date a tiny fraction of the available members of the opposite sex. And dating often boils down to a chemistry test anyway (which takes all of a few seconds to determine).

            The upside seems pretty significant but I'd like to see more real-world research. if they can show, for sure, that DNA testing greatly improves the odds that at leas
        • by HiThere (15173)

          The thing is, it sounds like they're just talking about maximizing the difference, and that's probably no where near optimal. I think that I read that the optimal level is somewhere around third or fourth cousin.

          I.e., if you're too similar, then you don't have enough HLA difference, but if you're too divergent then there's a likelihood of incompatibilities. So you want to be optimally different.

        • by ultranova (717540)

          No, the idea behind this company is that people tend to be attracted to people who have different immune system and proteins from them, something that apparently we can tell by smell. The biological reason for this is that our children will be healthier, literally, and everything is just a side-effect from our bodies.

          Wouldn't it be a lot simpler to just pick your mate from a social gathering where you can actually smell them than to send your genetic profile to some website?

  • I see a HUGE hole in this plan... So we can take DNA and build an incomplete profile of it. They want to use these limited profiles to match people for dating.

    But what metric are they going to use to match people?

    If they plan to match similar DNA then I question that since studies have shown that we're attracted to people with different immune systems.

    If they plan to match people with very different DNA then I question that because there might be a huge culture clash.

    If they plan to match people with very s

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by RJFerret (1279530)

      From TFA...

      The idea is that people tend to be attracted to those who have immune system genes that are dissimilar from their own.

      Which has been correlated to body odor, I remember from past studies (or a past study), and was referenced in TFA.

      But it's a well balanced article, they poke holes in it and share the 'just a money making ploy' contrary side of researchers who found happily married couples with similar immune systems instead of complementary.

      In similar news, I'm starting a match making service based upon environmental chemical exposures.

      • by Kell Bengal (711123) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @04:10PM (#30108326)

        And people tend to be attracted to the natural body odors

        I think slashdotters would have this market cornered.

      • by MaXintosh (159753)
        contrary side of researchers who found happily married couples with similar immune systems instead of complementary

        In any system there's going to be some variance. Sometimes, female birds of paradise don't choose the male with the most elaborate tail; sometimes they choose the ratty, haggard male. That's not to say that the tail is useless in attracting mates. It's the `average behaviour` we're interested in, and several studies have shown that on average, humans (and dozens of other species as far remove
      • by Behrooz (302401) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @04:37PM (#30108600)

        In similar news, I'm starting a match making service based upon environmental chemical exposures.

        Hey, exposure to ethyl alcohol is strongly correlated to time of conception for a majority of slashdotters.

    • by Culture20 (968837)
      If they did they usual personality matching, then filtered those matches (usually hundreds) through genetic testing (to detect different immune classes; a supposed basis for pheromone attraction), it might be useful.
  • I don't think I would ever want to date anyone who even remotely resembles me.
  • READ THE ARTICLE (Score:5, Informative)

    by gurps_npc (621217) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @03:54PM (#30108148) Homepage
    For those of you that continue to think they are matching similar DNA, if you read the article you will find that they are doing the opposite.

    That is, they are trying to create "Hybrid Vigor" - matching people whose DNA matches the LEAST. Among other things this should reduce recessive traits. No more blond haired/blue eyed children, but also no more hemophilia.

    • by Mal-2 (675116)

      That is, they are trying to create "Hybrid Vigor" - matching people whose DNA matches the LEAST. Among other things this should reduce recessive traits. No more blond haired/blue eyed children, but also no more hemophilia.

      For one generation. Unless the hybrid generation is ALSO screened to find their recessives, the traits will return in the next generation as the recessives get paired up randomly. This would probably be acceptable in the days where families had four or more children -- the chances of hav

  • by viking80 (697716) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @04:02PM (#30108248) Journal

    I would like to see the result of this study:
    -Take the DNA of all freshmen
    -Let the males and females smell each other one by one (in rooms so dark that beauty could be eliminated) and have them rate each other.
    -Let the males and females see and rate each others looks (like a criminal lineup)

    Now throw all that into a computer to find correlation between DNA / smell / looks.

    Now you can build the database to match couples based on DNA. A lot of interesting research could come out ot it too. Exactly which genes likes which genes, and which detest each other. Are there some universally unlikable genes, and what do they code? Are there some universally likable genes, and what do they code?

    • by MaXintosh (159753)
      Such a study would be riddled with false positives for any moderate sample size. In order to get statistical power over the whole genome (which is what you're proposing) you'd need a town's worth of data to even begin to correct for multiple tests. Whole Genome Inference is definitely in its infancy, and there's serious questions as to whether we'll ever be able to do it. It's much scientifically safer to approach these things with very specific hypothesis in mind.
  • My anti-social personality and my not desiring long walks on the beach can find me a mate!

    Seriously, I have trouble dating and I've thought about using one of these services, but there is more to a person than their DNA. Plus, we can see much of people's dna from "interviewing" them and their family.

    • by robertjw (728654)
      We do so many things scientifically, or at least with a process in our society, but when it comes to mating rituals there is simply chaos. Not only have we not introduced much practical technology to dating, all of the processes that have evolved over millenia have been summarily rejected by an enlightened society that believes procreation should be governed by romantic feelings instead of any kind of parental input or societal pressure. Personally I would welcome a system that would sample my DNA and pro
  • by Darth Cider (320236) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @04:06PM (#30108298)

    This is why the HTML 6 specification will include an olfactory tag, so that biologically compatible people can agree or disagree on the basis of body odor, rather than the meaning of their words. The W3C is also considering the inclusion of an IQ tag, to further facilitate meaningful communication. It is hoped that an advanced markup system will improve the basic functionality of the internet, while also mitigating many of the problems associated with the wrong people getting together online, for understandable but regrettable reasons. The W3C considers the biggest preventable threat to tomorrow's information exchange to be the population of children born as a result of those unfortunate online hookups.

  • I didn't RTFA (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MaXintosh (159753) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @04:12PM (#30108354)
    I didn't RTFA, because I can proudly say that I was involved in the group that produced MHC mediated sexual selection studies that ScientificMatch.com uses to claim their rationale. A few comments: First, if Scientific match has any wits about them, they'll also consider other information. I don't think anyone's stupid enough to think there's a single correlate to mate selection. But the worry about people who are too different is poorly founded - MHC diversity is strongly retained throughout most human lineages. We've had negative frequency dependant since we were swimming in the ocean, and as a result, if you sequenced any given allele, you'd find that it's just as related to Gorilla sequence as it is another randomly chosen allele. My ex-boss used to have students do this as an exercise to illustrate the point. Because of this, you're just as likely to find someone very MHC (or in humans, HLA) dissimilar next door in these modern, mobile times, than you are in, say, in a distant country.

    Second: They're only (to my knowledge) matching at MHC for disassortative matings, not the rest of the Genome. How is this better than picking someone based on hobbies? Because research actually shows that mating patterns in humans follows this pattern. It is a bit of a crock, since the odds of you picking two people at random with similar MHC complements is low, but let's not get into that. ;)

    Finally, let me just say, I'm proud that so much scientific blood, sweat and tears into understanding the maintenance of the immune system, and what drives host-parasite co-evolution, has been distilled into an online dating site. Forget having worked with a Nobel laureate, this the highest honour a scientist can know. ;)
    • by mrsurb (1484303) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @04:22PM (#30108456)

      I don't think anyone's stupid enough to think there's a single correlate to mate selection.

      I think you underestimate the market-share of stupid.

      • by MaXintosh (159753)

        I don't think anyone's stupid enough to think there's a single correlate to mate selection.

        I think you underestimate the market-share of stupid.

        Okay, aside from people who think all they need is a sweet ride and the chicks will be all over them... :P
        Some groups do oversell correlates, but given how pervasive our MHC findings are, and how ancient the mechanism seems to be, I don't think we're over-stating it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by dr2chase (653338)
          So you figure dissimilar in the immune system, but similar on the sweet-ride preference?
    • by radtea (464814)

      has been distilled into an online dating site.

      This isn't a "dating" site, it's a "mating" site, presumably aimed primarily at people under 30 or so who want to hook up for life with a single partner they intend to have children with. That's not "dating", which is spending time in the company of a member of the complementary sexual orientation, possibly naked, for pleasure (social, sexual, whatever).

      If you're going to call "singled minded pursuit of a suitable life-partner" "dating", then we need another w

  • Will health insurance use this to get a nice pre-existing conditions list and black list you?

    • by vlm (69642)

      Will health insurance use this to get a nice pre-existing conditions list and black list you?

      They might deny coverage based on your likely future spouses medical conditions, even if you're currently single, on the theory that you and your theoretical ideal spouse might be a perfect match but unfortunately the theoretical ideal offspring might be x% more susceptible to some expensive illness, thus denied coverage.

      Or, they might just do business as usual, and collect high premiums because of the "high risk", and abandon you when a claim is made.

  • Healthier children is the only thing that could be possible improved there for me. The rest look more related to culture (education, environment, etc) things than to genetic ones. And they put it in the last place, even doubting that it could happen.

    Of course, if both deeply believe what they said (won't be so different from any "predicted" match coming from tea leaves, astrology, dices, numerology and reading hand lines) there are a chance that it will happens, and that is cultural too.
  • by nomadic (141991)
    So I have to deal with a woman who is genetically predisposed to act like me? No thanks, I couldn't deal with a lifetime of myself.
  • The idea is that people tend to be attracted to those who have immune system genes that are dissimilar from their own.

    ... the 98 lb weakling with chronic asthma, coke-bottle glasses and a physique suited to the chess club is attracted to the 6 foot tall blonde Swedish ski champion goddess.

    Slashdotters worldwide rejoice.

  • The idea is that people tend to be attracted to those who have immune system genes that are dissimilar from their own.

    In the long run, if the kids HLA genes were an average of the parents, wouldn't this doom their business plan, along with the human race, once everyone had the same HLA genes?

  • Finally a service that allows me to only meet pure white Aryans like myself and exercise my racist ignorant views under the guise of science.

  • 'How many dating services can you think of where they can suggest you might have better children?'

    Lebensborn [wikipedia.org], Nazi Germany, 1935. (Non-Aryans need not apply.)

    • This should theoretically produce exact opposite effects.Nazi Germans were pairing people based on similar physical characteristics. In as much as looks correlate with geographical origins and geographical origins with disease resistance, they were pairing people with similar immunities.
      People born in different parts of the world should theoretically have very different immune systems. One example is the case of Native Americans who had no immunity to continental diseases and were almost wiped out whe
  • KALLIKAK, Gattaca, Saturday — Genetic testing companies are promising to match couples based on Escherichia coli testing, touting the benefits of biological compatibility and claiming a match means better personality match, better sex and conclusive proof that they match right down to the asshole [today.com].

    "How many dating services can you think of where assholes can meet an asshole they really deserve?" said Eric Holzle, founder of AssholePersonalityDisorderMatch.com.

    People tend to be attracted to those w

  • I know others pointed this out already, but heck, real life is starting to look like Gattaca every day more and more, until we're all fucked.

  • Are we sure they're not just corralling a bunch of stiffs at the bus station and pocketing our money?

  • Look out, here comes the Master Race!

    Seriously (and with apologies to Mel Brooks for quoting his masterpiece), this is an incredible pile of pseudoscientific horse shit. It reminds me of a guy I knew in high school who copied plans from a book for a UFO detector. He built the device, and was proud that it could detect UFOs *invisible to the naked eye*!

    I've been researching eugenic theories from the 1930s for a story I'm writing, a process that is all to easy because those opinions are alive and well today

  • Oh how do I love thee? Let me spell the ways: GATTACA
  • This just proves how low one can go in knowing jack about dating.
    DNA tests? Yeah, because we want to stay 20+ years with a person, have sex and love each other, because of a great DNA match!
    Toootally realistic! ;)

    I think the best way to know if a dating site is good, is by finding out the dating skills of those who created it!

    On second thought. Why slow yourself down by using a dating site? Just read a bit about how dating actually works (There is no shame in knowing the theory. It can only make things bett

  • One more group of women who won't have sex with me.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo. - Andy Finkel, computer guy

Working...