New research indicates that you may share more than a friendship with people in your circle...you may actually share their DNA.
The findings claim that people often choose friends that are similar to them in genetics. So much so that sets of friends could pass genetically for their fourth cousins. In other words: people with the same great-great-great grandparents.
Scientists looked at 1,932 people, comparing unrelated friends to unrelated strangers. They found that friends shared about 1 percent of their genes, which is a percentage much higher than those shared with strangers.
Nicholas Christakis, a professor of sociology, evolutionary biology and medicine at Yale, told Reuters that scientists aren't totally sure why the findings are as such, but that "it could involve the workings of a postulated 'kin detection system' in humans.”
"Our fates depend not only on our own genes, but also on the genes of others around us, and in particular our friends,” he said.
The genes that lined up the most were olfactory genes, which deal with smell, while the genes that lined up the least were immune system genes. Researchers say they aren’t sure why that happened, but said that it made sense for friends to enjoy similar smells.
The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In May, similar research found that people often choose their spouses with DNA similar to theirs.
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