Our friendships could be down to our genes

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  • Research suggests that our genes could play a vital role in determining who we choose to be friends with.

    How we choose our friends could be driven by our genes, according to researchers in the USA who recently found a genetic component to friendship.

    The study, published in the Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that carriers of the gene DRD2, often associated with alcoholism, tend to stick together.

    However, people with the gene CYP2A6, associated with openness to new ideas and unfamiliar situations, are believed to steer clear of each other.

    Professor James Fowler, who led the study at the University of California, says genes may go some way to explaining why weoften instinctively like or dislike people.

    ‘That feeling that you get when you’re just going to like somebody or not going to like them – a lot of times we’ll have those instincts about people and we’re not sure where they come from,’ he says.

    Similar patterns have been observed among couples, and researchers speculate that this genetic connection between freinds or partners form part of a defensive ploy.

    ‘We think that understanding the genotypes that underlie friendship may help us to understand more of the process’ says Fowler.

    The means by which we identify similar genotypes requires more research, but it is likely to be based on physical manifestations of certain genes, which are identifiable in people.


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