Can Your DNA Help Determine Your Soul Mate?
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were over 110 million single people over the age of 18 in the United States in 2016. This is a whopping 45 percent of the population. That’s a lot of people potentially looking for a soul mate. With these kinds of numbers, you would think the task of finding Mr. or Mrs. Right wouldn’t be that hard. You’d think wrong.
Let’s face it, if finding just the right person to spend the rest of your life with was easy, there wouldn’t be so many dating apps on the market. Of course, there’s always the blind date set up by your mother or meeting people in clubs…that always works out well, right? So what’s a single person to do in today’s high-tech world of dating? Can your genetic makeup help you find that one person you can’t live without? The answer is unequivocal…Maybe.
Dating DNA: All the Rage in Dating Apps
While there are dating apps that use the term DNA in their titles, they really don’t use any actual DNA as part of their matchmaking algorithms. The once popular “DatingDNA” app simply used profile questions and answers, similar to other dating sites.
One company, however, Pheramor, does claim to use your DNA, in combination with various profile questions, to match you up with a prospective soul mate. According to the science portion of its website, it uses 11 different genes in the HLA (human leukocyte antigen) family to map your compatibility with other site members. These are also known as MHC (major histocompatibility complex) genes.
The theory is that attraction to another person could be due to subtle external hormones emitted by your body called pheromones. Some researchers believe these substances can trigger everything from sexual attraction to synchronized menstrual periods among women living in close proximity. This is due to the MHC genes, which determine immune factors in animals, including humans.
When it comes to finding your soul mate, the prevailing idea is that you will attract people with differing MHCs, giving credence to the “opposites attract” theory of relationships. According to this “Psychology Today” article, mice selected members of the opposite sex to mate with that had the “most different” immune system from their own. Thereby creating stronger offspring.
Charles Wysocki of the Monell Chemical Senses Center had this to say about the center’s 2005 study on body odor, “Our findings support the contention that gender preference has a biological component that is reflected in both the production of different body odors and in the perception of and response to body odors.”
Other studies show that women who are on the Pill tended to prefer men with similar MHCs. This would tend to show that pregnant women or women who’s body might think they are pregnant because of the Pill, would want a different type of mate.
Some companies like Athena Pheromones, are banking on the science by selling pheromones they claim will make you more attractive to the opposite sex.
So what does all this mean for humans? The facts are that no one knows for sure how you will react to the scent of someone based on their genetic makeup. There are many factors to consider and scientists are still learning. While most experts now agree that pheromones exist, they are still piecing together how they relate to genetics and attraction.
What CAN You Learn From Your DNA?
So, if you can’t use genetics to reliably pick your soul mate through dating DNA just yet, what can it do for you? There are several companies that offer DNA sequencing test kits and analysis. They vary in complexity and price, depending on what you are looking for. You can find these tests online and at local retailers like Walgreens and Walmart from brands like IdentiGene and HomeChek.
Companies like AnestryDNA and MyAncestry offer kits that allow you to submit a DNA sample for testing in the form of a saliva sample. Send them off for sequencing and you get back information on where your ancestors may have lived and what your heritage might be. In some cases, this test can match you up with other possible relatives that might have used the system as well. Here’s a list of some tests you might want to check out.
Anyone who’s seen more than a couple of episodes of “The Jerry Springer Show” or “Divorce Court” knows what a paternity test is. While these are sensational cases designed to garner higher TV ratings, a paternity test is a valuable tool for many people. They can be formally requested by a court of law to help adjudicate custody and support issues, but they can also prove paternity allegations between private parties.
Your DNA might just very well determine the future of healthcare. A good health DNA sequencing company can help you determine your risk factors for conditions like:
- Macular Degeneration
Doctors and geneticists are already using similar tests to predict a patient’s likelihood of developing these diseases.
DNA tests, like ones you might be familiar with from 23andMe and Helix, can even tell you about the state of your current health including your sleep habits and caffeine consumption.
Where This Information is Taking Us
Accurate health information can help you and your doctors determine courses of treatments as well as preventative measures. Between knowing more about your family history on an in-depth level and identifying the genetic markers for specific diseases, your risk factors are more evident. This can lead to an earlier diagnosis, thereby leading to earlier treatment and more successful results.
In fact, the National Institute of Health (NIH) is launching a massive study on these health markers and health habits. They are attempting to obtain DNA information from one million people along with 10 years worth of their health habits and information. While the study may not be foolproof, it could take us light years into the future of precision medicine.
Now that you know all these things, you can also adapt your lifestyle to reducing other risk factors for these diseases and to improve your quality of life. In addition to things like diet and exercise, now you’ll be able to pick and choose what vitamins and nutrients are best suited to your current state of wellness and to help shore up where your genetic makeup might be lacking. Yes, personalized vitamin blends and nutritional supplements are in your future.
The Bottom Line
The world of genetics, hormones, and pheromones is one that’s still growing as researchers are learning more every day. Is it possible that someday matchmaking experts will compare your genetic makeup to someone else’s to predict sexual attraction? Sure. Will that lead to a lifetime of happiness? Maybe not. Let’s face it, that cute guy or girl at the bar might be hot but they might not be life-long partner material.
For now, you can use genetics to learn more about your ancestry, your potential health markers and more, but maybe leave the matchmaking to the professionals like your mom.