• Exercise
  • Food
  • Wellbeing
  • Health Check
  • Health Insights
  • Healthy Living
  • Body
  • Food
  • Mind
  • Health Guide
  • Healthcare
  • Using Your Cover
  •  
     

    Friendships are in the genes

    A new genetic study shows that we share more DNA with our friends than with strangers.

    Friends really are like family, a new genetic study has found. People who are friends are much more likely to share a number of closely related genes, researchers from the University of California-San Diego and Yale University revealed, after examining the DNA of thousands of pairs of biologically unrelated friends with pairs of unrelated strangers living in the same area.

    “Looking across the whole genome 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,” said Professor James Fowler, co-author of the study.

    In fact, the study shows that, on average, friends share about 1 per cent of their genes – about the same overlap as we can expect to find among fourth cousins. The authors explained that it makes sense that we have these shared genes among social networks, because it would have had evolutionary advantages. “The genes we share are the genes that evolved fastest. Human friendship has turbocharged evolution,” Professor Fowler said.

    Keep up to date with the latest health news and research on Medibank Health Brief.

    Recommended Reading

    Quit smoking the smart way

    Give yourself the best chance of success

    Read more

    Pancreatic cancer: What you need to know

    Professor David Thomas explains the facts you need to know.

    Read more

    Natural secrets for clear, healthy skin

    Nutritionist Samantha Sargent shares some tips.

    Read more

    Anxiety explained

    Learn more about anxiety

    Read more

    Do you have too much stuff?

    Collecting experiences, not things, makes you happier.

    Read more

    How to choose the right cat or dog food

    Veterinarian Amanda Chin explains pet food labels.

    Read more

    5 essential things your cat needs to be happy

    Keep your kitty purring happily with these easy tips

    Read more