Having good friends is good for your brain health but is who you become friends with dependent on genetics. A new paper examined this friendship/genetic question and found very interesting results:
After controlling for genetic likeness due to sex, age, race or common ancestry, friends still tended to have the same SNP at one position in a gene encoding the dopamine D2 receptor, DRD2. Friends also showed more variation at one position in a cytochrome gene,CYP2A6, than non-friends.
One of the authors offer why this might happen:
“When people choose friends with similar genotypes, an individual’s fitness — or survival until reproduction — not only reflects their own genes but also the genes of the friends they’ve chosen,” says Nicholas Christakis, a social scientist at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and an author on the study. In other words, there might be an evolutionary benefit to having friends with compatible genes, even if you don’t have any offspring with them. For example, if people who are naturally less susceptible to bacterial infection hang around together, their collective health as a group multiplies because the bacteria have no vulnerable hosts.
Maybe the results are not to suprising because of the old idea that we tend to make friends with like minded people, well know we might have found out we also make friends with those with similar genes.