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Biotech The Internet Science

New Dating Sites Match People Through DNA Tests 278

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, 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."
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New Dating Sites Match People Through DNA Tests

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  • 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?

  • 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 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. ;)
  • Re:Hmm... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by khedron the jester ( 888418 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @06:36PM (#30109616)

    I agree that it's not a science movie, but for different reasons: the moral I got from the film is that you can't sum up the whole of a human being by his genes, but that his will plays a part too.

    Hence (IMO) it's an anti-science film, since it tries to show the shortcomings of science and the problems of over-reliance on it.

  • Badass = sexy (Score:2, Interesting)

    by DavMz ( 1652411 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @04:47AM (#30113116)

    The football team captain will get the girls.
    This was "demonstrated" on a japanese tv show: they had one of the animators of the show and a stunt actor running for 10min to make them sweat and thus emit more pheromones, before putting them in separate boxes with a hole at chest level and had them removing their shirts. Then, six girls were asked to smell them and designate which was the most sexy (without knowing who was in which box). All six of them chose the stunt actor. Apparently, girls are attracted to "bad guys", because they would have more manly pheromones.
    (Note: I am neither a biologist nor a native japanese speaker so I might have missed something...)

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