A couple of days ago, a new interview with James Fowler came out on NPR:  “Genes Play Role in Selecting Friends, Study Finds.”

As I recently posted, Fowler is a co-author of Connected:  The Suprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives.


Have a listen here, it’s less than 5 minutes long.  You just might find out why we are friends, or the real reason why I married you. 😉  An excerpt:

I think what we’re going to find is that there are different systems at play. And so with the dopamine gene that we found – that we share in common with our friends – there’s a very intuitive explanation there, because it’s related to this behavior that’s very social behavior.  But for the opposites-attract genes, we might find things like genes that are related to the immune system.

It’s been known for some time that people tend to choose spouses who have different immune systems, because you don’t want to be exposed to a disease that you’re susceptible to. You spend a lot of time with your spouse, and so if they get it, then you’re definitely going to get it. You want them to be able to fight off all those diseases that you can’t fight off.