Scientists doubt whether DNA-Based dating apps can help users find love (app trends)

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https://leapsmag.com/scientists-doubt-wh...find-love/

EXCERPT: . . . With the direct-to-consumer genetic testing market booming, more and more companies are looking to capitalize on the promise of DNA-based services. Pheramor and startups, like DNA Romance and Instant Chemistry, both based in Canada, claim to match you to a romantic partner based on your genetics. It’s an intriguing alternative to swiping left or right in hopes of finding someone you’re not only physically attracted to but actually want to date. Experts say the science behind such apps isn’t settled though.

[...] Despite its name, Pheramor doesn’t actually measure pheromones, chemicals released by animals that affect the behavior of others of the same species. That’s because human pheromones have yet to be identified, though they’ve been discovered throughout the animal kingdom in moths, mice, rabbits, pigs, and many other insects and mammals. The HLA genes Pheramor analyzes instead are the human version of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), a gene group found in many species.

[...] “The idea is, if you are very similar with your partner in HLA type then your offspring is similar in terms of HLA. This reduces your resistance against pathogens,” says Illona Croy, a psychologist at the Technical University of Dresden who has studied HLA type in relation to sexual attraction in humans. [...] In a 2016 study Pheramor cites on its website, Croy and her colleagues tested the HLA types of 250 couples ... The couples who had more dissimilar HLA types reported a more satisfied sex life and satisfied partnership, but Croy cautions that it was a small effect...

[...] Other studies have reported no preference for HLA difference in sexual attraction. Tristram Wyatt ... says it’s been difficult to replicate the original T-shirt study. And one of the caveats of the original study is that women who were taking birth control pills preferred men who were more immunologically similar. ... Wyatt says he’s skeptical of DNA-based dating apps because there are many subtypes of HLA genes, meaning there’s a fairly low chance that your HLA type and your romantic partner’s would be an exact match, anyway. ... “What it means is that since we’re all different, it’s hard statistically to say who the best match will be,” he says. (MORE - details)
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