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It has long been known that other mammals, such as mice, selectively mate with partners having different genetic variants of their MHC genes, which control immune responses.

A leading hypothesis is that such “disassortative” mating will produce offspring with greater diversity in their MHC genes that will protect them against a broader range of pathogens.

It’s been carved up in the laboratories of Bern University in Switzerland and although my scientific background is too poor to make anything out of that fact alone, it certainly looks and sounds impressive (even if it does involve a group of students-guinea pigs going around, smelling each other’s t-shirts for a couple of weeks). As it turns out, Gene Partner is built on the idea that ‘opposites attract’, but behind the trivial idea is a very clever plan.

If you guys want to know more about your genetic matches before the British sites add it on their pages, you can always fork out and order a Gene Partner test.

Given that all mammals display similar genetic mechanisms, one might expect a similar genetic attraction to exist in humans, albeit within the context of the greater complexity of human relationships.

Indeed, a 1995 study found that single women, asked to smell and pick from sweaters worn by men, were disproportionately inclined to pick one worn by a man with different MCH alleles from their own.

Some studies have also discovered that women on birth control pills tend to prefer men with the same MHC variants, the opposite of their peers not on the pill.

As one scientific review of the entire body of data concluded, “the mixed evidence …

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