Innovation That Matters

DNA-driven dating service

Work & Lifestyle

‘Personal chemistry’ has long been a blanket term for all the things that make people compatible (or not), but until recently only science fiction films like Code 46 have taken the notion literally. As of December, however, Boston-based ScientificMatch is using DNA to assess personal chemistry for dating purposes. ScientificMatch uses three components to match up singles through its dating service: personal chemistry, values and personal preferences. While the latter two are assessed via questionnaire, personal chemistry matching is done via DNA analysis. The immune system is what has been found to affect sexual compatibility, with people tending to prefer those whose immune systems are different from their own. The benefits of well-matched immune systems, according to research cited by ScientificMatch, include a more satisfying sex life, increased faithfulness, higher fertility and healthier children. Members who sign up for the company’s USD 1,995.95 service send a cheek swab to ScientificMatch, which analyses the portion of their DNA that relates to the immune system. Matches are then suggested with other members who have compatible chemistry. The matching process won’t work for women on the pill or for people who weren’t raised by their natural parents, ScientificMatch cautions. It will, however, work for those seeking same-sex relationships. ScientificMatch currently serves just the Greater Boston area, extending into New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Not long ago we wrote about deCODEme, 23andMe and Navigenics, three firms that are providing personal genome services to consumers interested in gaining insight into their genetic ancestry and risk profiles for a variety of diseases. With ScientificMatch’s debut in dating, genomics are moving out of the realm of research and medicine and into the mainstream business world. Other contenders are sure to follow soon—care to be one of them? (Related: Dating cards fuse physical & virtual connections.) Spotted by: Bjarke Svendsen



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