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Biotech Science

Humans Choose Friends With Similar DNA 204

Posted by Soulskill
from the nice-to-meet-you,-pardon-the-cheek-swab dept.
KentuckyFC writes "The study of social networks has long shown that people tend to pick friends who are similar to them — birds of a feather stick together (PDF). Now a study of the genomes of almost 2000 Americans has found that those who are friends also share remarkable genetic similarities. 'Pairs of friends are, on average, as genetically similar to one another as fourth cousins,' the study concludes. By contrast, strangers share few genetic similarities. The result seems to confirm a 30-year-old theory that a person's genes causes them to seek out circumstances that are compatible with their phenotype. If that's the case, then people with similar genes should end up in similar environments and so be more likely to become friends."
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Humans Choose Friends With Similar DNA

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  • Re:Bull (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Score Whore (32328) on Friday September 06, 2013 @02:31PM (#44777405)

    No kidding. I'm thinking that the majority of people live, breed and die within a few hundred miles of where they were born and this goes on generation after generation. One would expect a certain homogeneity in the range of genes within that population.

  • by rodrigoandrade (713371) on Friday September 06, 2013 @02:34PM (#44777465)

    I find this study to be extremely flawed, not to say elitist / racist.

    Yes, rednecks who listen to country music and drink cheap beer and whisky like to have friends who are also rednecks who listen to country music and drink cheap beer and whisky.

    If the study had been conducted with 2000 subjects from culturally diverse places, like NY or Tokyo, I'm sure the results would've been a lot diferent.

    I was going to post AC, but fuck it, I got karma to burn...

  • by cjc25 (1961486) on Friday September 06, 2013 @02:54PM (#44777741)

    I find this study to be extremely flawed, not to say elitist / racist.

    Yes, people who fit a stereotype of those I dislike like to have friends who are similar.

    If the study had been conducted with 2000 subjects from places with people like me, I'm sure the results would've been more comforting to me.

    FTFY

  • by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Friday September 06, 2013 @03:09PM (#44777935) Homepage Journal
    Almost all of the participants in the dataset were Americans of European descent. They controlled for the possibility of distant relatedness as aggressively as they could, which is a well-understood requirement of many GWAS experiments.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 06, 2013 @03:39PM (#44778301)

    I dont get how everyone on here keeps making the equation: genetics = race. Thats not what this is about.

    I'm an engineer. Since I was a kid, I've loved to take things apart and put them back together. The closest friends I have in life are all from different parts of the world but they tend to be like me in that they also grew up taking things apart and putting them back together. So whatever gene-grouping is responsible for that behavior is probably shared by my friends from India, Russia and Sweden.

    Genetics != race

  • Re:Bull (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nemyst (1383049) on Friday September 06, 2013 @03:59PM (#44778535) Homepage
    This doesn't really work in today's world, though. Sure, in suburbs and villages, that probably has something to do with it. Cities, though? A city hash millions of people living in it, many of them not even originating from that city at all. Walk a hundred meters and you'll probably stumble on people from 10 different countries at the very least. I have serious doubts that you, by happenstance, always pick people who grew near your own place of birth.
  • by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Saturday September 07, 2013 @01:32AM (#44781805) Journal
    They have a long history of violent racism. So, why would this come as a surprise in the USA?

    I would think that this would be much more interesting in a more egalitarian and pan-racial society.

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