This Non-TV Story Is Wild: The Role JeansGenes Have in Picking Our Friends

Jan 18, 2011  •  Post A Comment

"Your friends aren’t just people you enjoy: You tend to befriend others with similar or complementary genes, a new study suggests. Researchers from the University of California, San Diego found that gene clusters were comparable among friends, even after accounting for the predisposition to befriend others in the same geographic area."

So says a story making its rounds on the Internet. The version we’re quoting is from Bloomberg’s BusinessWeek.

The article continues, "Mapping specific genetic markers within each individual’s social network, the researchers learned that individuals tend to forge friendships with those who share two of six tested markers.

"For example, those who carried the so-called DRD2 marker, which is associated with alcoholism, were apt to befriend other DRD2-positive friends, while those without the gene formed alliances with other DRD2-negative peers. Fowler said this situation exemplifies homophily, a sociological term that means "love of like" and illustrates the adage ‘birds of a feather flock together.’ "

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