Friendship and natural selection

NRNB Symposium on Network Biology 2012, Gladstone institutes, San Francisco: James Fowler presents Friendship and Natural Selection (link)

Friendship and Natural Selection

Nicholas A. Christakis, James H. Fowler

More than any other species, humans form social ties to individuals who are neither kin nor mates, and these ties tend to be with similar people. Here, we show that this similarity extends to genotypes. Across the whole genome, friends' genotypes at the SNP level tend to be positively correlated (homophilic); however, certain genotypes are negatively correlated (heterophilic). A focused gene set analysis suggests that some of the overall correlation can be explained by specific systems; for example, an olfactory gene set is homophilic and an immune system gene set is heterophilic. Finally, homophilic genotypes exhibit significantly higher measures of positive selection, suggesting that, on average, they may yield a synergistic fitness advantage that has been helping to drive recent human evolution.


Christian Identity Forum said...

Man, white man, was created in the image of God. It wasn't a process of natural selection, of evolution, but rather creation. The human body is far too complex a design to have been brought into being by pure happenstance. Our ancestors were neither orangutans nor primordial slime. How anyone can claim to be a White Nationalist when he believes that we came from the same DNA repository as blacks and gibbons is beyond me.

Anonymous said...

Holy mackeroly. When are christians going to figure out that there is nothing quite so god-like as evolution itself. a process that is entirely logical and wholly unpredictable; that's god at work. christians should revel in the fact that europeans were the icing on the cake of human evolution. the colourful decoration on an otherwise not very colourful sponge. once we accept evolution we can move forward and focus on ideology. what have christians brought to the table? modernity basically and we owe it to jesus to proclaim the basis for modernity (i.e. moving away from tribalism) and thank his dad for giving us the blueprint for it (i.e. not marrying cousins but instead creating public institutions for the benefit of all). it's hard enough battling against non-europeans who would like to see an end to us but to have to battle the very ideology that gave the world freedom as well is just depressing.