The company you keep may include similar genetic material--up to 1 percent shared DNA amongst your friends--according to a new study from scientists at the University of California--San Diego and Yale University published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"Looking across the whole genome," co-author James Fowler said, "we find that, on average, we are genetically similar to our friends. We have more DNA in common with the people we pick as friends than we do with strangers in the same population."
The researchers focused on 1,932 subjects from the Framingham Heart study; they compared pairs of unrelated friends against pairs of unrelated strangers. The same people, who were neither biologically related nor spouses, were used in both types of samples. The only thing that differed between them was their social relationship.
The study controlled for ancestry (see study link below) and is a genome-wide analysis of nearly 1.5 million markers of gene variation. The researchers concluded that friends have similar genetic material to 4th cousins and that the shared genetic material is statistically significant.
The strongest correlation between friends was sense of smell and the least correlated was resistance to diseases.
The study is described in the 7-14-14 edition of Science Daily:
GENOME ANALYSIS AMONG FRIENDS
So, mes amis, what are your favorite smells?! Least favorite smells? Do you suppose the study would be valid for on-line friends?
My favorites smells are petriclor, lilacs, lemon, coffee, newly mown grass, pine trees, cinnamon, and baby-head smell. Least favorites? Mold, old sour milk, and ammonia.
The paper also lends support to the view of human beings as 'metagenomic,'" co-author Nicholas Christakis said, "not only with respect to the microbes within us but also to the people who surround us. It seems that our fitness depends not only on our own genetic constitutions, but also on the genetic constitutions of our friends."
So how's your genome profile? We all depend on each other, after all. . .
And lastly, this misspelling of Quatorze de Juillet was too good to pass up. Happy Bastille Day, Julliet, Juliette, Julius, et al!
Vive mes amis,
(Femme des Mots)
Any guesses as to what these are?