When dating online follow your genes

Forget the days of filling out questionnaires about your likes and dislikes, or lying about your bad habits online; these days the answer to true love is only a cheek swab away.‘Nature’s driving force is to ensure that you produce the healthiest possible offspring, so what DNA matching offers is the chance to pick a partner with the widest possible variety of genes and therefore the best immune system for any potential children,’ explains Eric Holzle, a former engineer-turned-matchmaker who runs Scientific Match.

But while Americans have been mailing in their saliva samples in order to find out what proportion of their genome is descended from Neanderthals, or whether or not they are likely to have dry or wet earwax, scholars have been busy overcoming statistical obstacles to produce scores based on the entire set of a million or more bits of DNA that predict what we call “quantitative traits”—those that fall on a continuum, like body-mass index or verbal intelligence.The two markers tested for are the serotonin uptake controller, which is involved in how people handle positive and negative emotions.The second marker tested for relates to the genes influencing the person's immune system.The art of mating has undergone many technologically induced changes from the liberation that young lovers found with the invention of the automobile to the swipe-right ease of matching on Tinder.But another technology is afoot that few people know about but that will upend the way we match and reproduce in years to come: the polygenic score.HLAs drive which bacteria grow on our skin, contributing to our body scent.Studies such as the famous sweaty t-shirty study have found that body odours are linked to sexual attraction and that people are attracted to mates with dissimilar HLA profiles, which helps increase the chances that potential offspring can fight disease.But what if your agenda is more about making whoopee than babies?According to Holzle, there are still benefits to be had, chief among them the fact that DNA testing can ascertain whether or not you will have ‘a more satisfying sex life with less chance of cheating’.According to research by Instant Chemistry, the maker of the testing kits used by Singld Out, there is a strong correlation between people in long-term relationships having different versions of the serotonin genes and different immune systems.The tests referenced on the website include an experiment at a Swiss University where males were asked to wear the same t-shirt for two consecutive nights.


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