Your DNA May Have Helped You Choose Your Spouse

To all the external things that bring people together, add genetics: A new study discovered that husbands and wives were more genetically similar to each other than they were to other randomly selected individuals.

What's the Latest Development?


Researchers at the University of Colorado-Boulder examined genetic data from a study of over 800 heterosexual non-Hispanic white American couples, focusing on the parts of the DNA strand that tend to differ from individual to individual. They found that, in general, a husband and wife were more genetically similar to each other than either of them were to randomly selected people in the same population group. The study was recently published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

What's the Big Idea?

People choose spouses based on a host of well-known factors -- including education, which played a far stronger role than DNA -- but the findings in this study suggest that on some unconscious level genetics may be playing a matchmaking role as well, putting into question the true randomness of human mating. The researchers note the limitations with regards to the relative homogeneity of the sample population, and add that the results "only represent a first step in understanding the ways in which humans may assortively mate with respect to their genome."

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at Medical Daily

Big Think Edge
  • The meaning of the word 'confidence' seems obvious. But it's not the same as self-esteem.
  • Confidence isn't just a feeling on your inside. It comes from taking action in the world.
  • Join Big Think Edge today and learn how to achieve more confidence when and where it really matters.
Sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies
  • There are 2 different approaches to governing free speech on college campuses.
  • One is a morality/order approach. The other is a bottom-up approach.
  • Emily Chamlee-Wright says there are many benefits to having no one central authority on what is appropriate speech.

Active ingredient in Roundup found in 95% of studied beers and wines

The controversial herbicide is everywhere, apparently.

(MsMaria/Shutterstock)
Surprising Science
  • U.S. PIRG tested 20 beers and wines, including organics, and found Roundup's active ingredient in almost all of them.
  • A jury on August 2018 awarded a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma victim $289 million in Roundup damages.
  • Bayer/Monsanto says Roundup is totally safe. Others disagree.
Keep reading Show less
Big Think Edge
  • Economist Sylvia Ann Hewlett breaks down what qualities will inspire others to believe in you.
  • Here's how 300 leaders and 4,000 mid-level managers described someone with executive presence.
  • Get more deep insights like these to power your career forward. Join Big Think Edge.