Study Finds We May Be Genetically Linked to Our Friends

By Joe Gullo , CNN

Published 07/16 2014 10:24AM

Updated 07/16 2014 10:28AM

We all pick our friends for different reasons - their sense of humor, shared interests, or common experiences. But an intriguing new study says genes might play a role in determining our social circles.

The old saying is "birds of a feather flock together" - and turns out this may be scientifically true. This new study says we all may be genetically linked to our friends.

This new research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

They found that we are more genetically similar, as in share more DNA in common, with the people we pick as friends than we do with strangers.

Turns out we all share about one percent of our genes with our friends. This means we are all as genetically similar to our friends as much as we are to our fourth cousins or to people who share a great-great-great grandparent.

The researcher say this DNA similarity drives social connection in what we naturally invest our time in.

For example, they say friends tend to smell things in the same way. And we see that reflected in coffee drinkers hanging out in sweet smelling coffee shops together and making connections there with genetically-similar people.

There is a lot more detail and data in this study, but put most simply, your friends may be closer to you than you think.

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