Friends of a feather

Do our genes influence who we choose as comrades?

Vanessa Schipani
Jan 16, 2011
The age-old idioms "birds of a feather flock together" and "opposites attract" might have some truth in them -- along with laughter and secrets, friends may share genetic similarities, as well as some differences, according to a new linkurl:study;http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1011687108 published in the January 17th issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
Wikimedia Commons, Kevin Jaako
"This paper is an invitation for people to think about the genetics of human behavior," an area of research that has long eluded scientists, said linkurl:Ting Wu,;http://www.hms.harvard.edu/dms/bbs/fac/wu.html a geneticist at Harvard University, who was not involved in the study."Our ability to make friends and keep friends is a part of humans that makes us unique," added linkurl:James Fowler,;http://medgenetics.ucsd.edu/faculty/Pages/james-fowler.aspx professor of medical genetics at the University of California, San Diego and first author on the paper, yet "the biology of social networks is relatively unstudied."Drawing on data collected from two long-term health studies,...
J.H. Fowler et al., "Correlated genotypes in friendship networks," PNAS, AOP, doi:10.1073/pnas.1011687108, 2011.