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Biomedicine in museums

Love at a sniff — come on, ever heard about culture?

Now at least two companies (ScientificMatch and GenePartner) are providing dating services (down to $199 per single at GenePartner) based on the pretty solid scientific finding (Claus Wedekind and Dustin Penn, Nephrology, Dialysis, Transplantation, vol 15, 2000) that women are more attracted to men who express less similar HLA genes. Sensing and classifying the expression of the HLA genes is something we do subconsciously (animalwise).

Biotech enthusiasts MedGadgetTechCrunch and Bertalan Meskó (ScienceRoll) are excited about the new prospects. Genetically based love at first sniff!

Absolutely fine with my experience. But wait a minute: what does ScientificMatch (“the science of love”) actually say?

  • Chances are increased that you’ll love the natural body fragrance of your matches.
  • You have a greater chance of a more satisfying sex life.
  • Women tend to enjoy a higher rate of orgasms with their partners.
  • Women have a much lower chance of cheating in their exclusive relationships.
  • Couples tend to have higher rates of fertility.
  • All other things being equal, couples have a greater chance of having healthier children with more robust immune systems.(my emphases)

Tendencies, chances? Well the last sentence says it all. “All other things being equal, couples have a greater chance …”. But things aren’t equal. And that’s what we call culture, stupid!

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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