If your friends feel like family, there’s a good reason for it
The truism that friends are the family you choose may be more accurate than you might suppose.
A study published on Monday found that people are apt to pick friends who are genetically similar to themselves - so much so that friends tend to be as alike at the genetic level as a person’s fourth cousin.
The findings were based on an examination of about 1.5 million markers of genetic variations in a group of nearly 2,000 people who had taken part in a long-running health study based in Massachusetts. The researchers compared people identified as friends to those who were not.
The study showed people were most similar to their friends in olfactory genes, which involve the sense of smell, and were least similar in relation to immune system genes.
"Olfactory genes have a straightforward explanation: People who like the same smells tend to be drawn to similar environments, where they meet others with the same tendencies," said one of the researchers, James Fowler, a professor of medical genetics and political science at the University of California, San Diego.
The study, published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, follows research released in May that found that people tended to choose spouses who have similar DNA.
July 21, 1925: Scopes Found Guilty in “Monkey Trial”
On this day in 1925, a Tennessee high school science teacher, John Thomas Scopes, was found guilty for allegedly teaching evolution, which violated Tennessee state law. The Scopes Trial, known as the “Monkey Trial,” lasted only a week, but ignited conversation and debate over whether to teach Creation or Evolution in the classroom.
The court acquitted Scopes on a technicality but upheld the constitutionality of the state law which was eventually overturned in 1967.
Image: John Thomas Scopes, Library of Congress.
Too mind bending not to reblog!
i feel like this is exactly what Vincent Van Gogh saw and now i am crying
photos by gerry ellis from the david sheldrick wildlife trust, a nursery and orphanage for elephants in kenya’s tsavo east national park. here, fifty five keepers are charged with being around the clock parents to an elephant. the elephants, however, are the ones who chose their caretakers; it is the keepers who must ingratiate themselves to the elephants and earn their trust.
when elephants first arrive at the orphanage they are often traumatized from having witnessed the slaughter of their mothers and family by poachers. grieving can last several months, and they often lose the will to live. but as dame daphne sheldrick, founder of the orphanage, explains, a caretaker is charged with “persuading an elephant to live when it wants to die.”
approximately 35,000 elephants are killed by humans every year. with an estimated 350,000 elephants left in the whole continent of africa, they will be gone in the wild within ten years.
cbc’s the nature of things did a program on the elephants and their caretakers. you can foster an elephant with the david sheldrick wildlife trust online here. for more on the emotional lives of elephants, as well as the david sheldrick wildlife trust and other human efforts to save them, check out these posts