Have you ever had a talk with your BFF about how he or she is considered "part of the family"? Well, your considerations may not be too farfetched.
A study by the National Academy of Science in The United States suggests that you may have a similar, if not some of the same, DNA makeup as your besties. The study explained that the relationship is close to that of your fourth cousin.
Also, the most common shared gene found between unrelated friends relates to smell. This gene, known as the olfactory gene, relates to your sense of smell and also, how you smell something else.
These findings could explain much more than why you and your high school clique only spoke to boys who smelled like Abercrombie Fierce. Scientists are using these findings to explain alcoholic behavior and factors that contribute to heart disease.
A difference in genes that BFFs tend to share is within the immune system: If one friend is resistant to a certain pathogen, it's most strategic to befriend others who have different resistances. If you can fight off a particular cold virus, you are less likely to pass it on to your friend and vice versa.
This could mean that you and your friends have a small circle of protection against illnesses.
Researchers have found that the things we like to do and the places we like to eat are directly related to our DNA. So, if you and most of your friends like to people watch at Starbucks and binge-eat Chipotle while binge-watching "Gossip Girl," you may have DNA similarities.
The research found that we choose friends based on "homophily," which means the love of liking something.
The study also discusses how and why we choose our friends. Humans are complex animals that are known to act on instincts. Most people can't even identify a fourth cousin, nor do they know anything about their great-great grandfathers, but somehow, many select friends who are the closest in relation to these people.
People seek similarities that may not be visible or tangible, but scientific, just as "birds of a feather flock together." If an individual you meet is not directly related to you, there would be no way to tell whether or not he or she shared any sort of gene combination with you.
So, given the act of selecting a friend without this knowledge and then discovering that you did it because he or she does, in fact, share these combinations with you is nothing short of mind-blowing.
So, be careful about whom you choose to invite to Margarita Mondays because the evolution between you and your besties is the future of the human species. We surround ourselves with our chosen family, which may not be far off from our actual family.
Next time your BFFEA borrows your Free People skirt for EDC and refuses to return it, just remember that she might literally be family. Also, you might share more than clothes with her; you share jeans genes.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It