The One on Netflix: Is genetics based dating and DNA matching actually possible?
People have created real life dating apps which think so
After seeing The One on Netflix, you may have been left wondering if all this talk of DNA matching and genetics being used to find your perfect match has all just been plucked out of thin air, or if it’s actually possible.
The series follows CEO Rebecca Webb, whose company MatchDNA asks its users for a DNA sample which it will then use to find their one true soulmate, who they are “guaranteed” to fall in love with. Whilst the series itself isn’t based on a true story, it’s based on the book of the same name by John Marrs, there have been scientists in the past who have tried to launch similar scientific breakthroughs. And yep, there are these kinds of apps out there right now.
So here’s everything you need to know about how realistic and accurate the technology shown in The One is in the real world, and whether or not one day we might be finding love through our genes.
So, can we actually do DNA matching and genetics based dating in the real world like they do in The One?
Ok, so there have actually been a few apps over time which have tried to match partners through DNA and genetics. One that seemed to get pretty far was Houston-based Pheramor – a dating app which aims to connect singles by using the science of physical chemistry and social alignment. You send off your spit in a tube and the company analyses your DNA and matches you with potential partners. At one point, it is reported to have had 3,000 members.
According to Pheramor, it can pinpoint 11 genes “proven” to determine romantic and sexual attraction. It will then build you a profile, and give you a compatibility score that matches you with other users, all based on genetics. The website ~used~ to say: “We use your attraction genes to determine who you are attracted to and who is attracted to you, right in your new dating app!” This was all for just $20, plus a $10 monthly membership fee. However, the website is no longer available, and all social media profiles for Phermor are inactive – so maybe it didn’t work out.
In 2014, the Daily Mail reported that there was another dating site using DNA testing to look for matches. SingledOut sends customers a tube for saliva, and then sends them to a lab to tests for two genetic markers. One is related to serotonin levels, while the other is related to the genes which effect the immune system. Apparently these markers can indicate how likely it is that a relationship will last.
SingledOut still runs today, under the website DNAromance.com, which boasts of “online dating based on science”. The website states: “DNA Romance is an online dating site that forecast romantic chemistry between people using DNA markers that have shown to play a role in human attraction. In addition we forecast ‘personality compatibility’ using psychology and allow you to evaluate physical attraction based on your matches photograph and biographical details.”
It’s a lot of big words and confusing algorithms, but it kind of sounds like your matches are based on a lot more than genetics alone, but it’s a thing at least!
Finally, and something which is kinda genetic dating but not as we know it, a Harvard University academic is reported to be creating a DNA matching dating app but it actually filters out genetic matches. The app removes matches that would result in passing genetic diseases to their children.
Professor George Church is behind Digid8, which aims to stop genetic diseases that can be inherited if a child is born from parents each carrying the same genetic mutation. Basically the app stops you from being matched with someone who has the same recessive genes as you. Therefore, the genes are less likely to be passed on to your children.
Right now, the Digid8 website has a link to an app called “safem8” which you can sign up for.
So, these apps might not be as extreme as the DNA matching in The One, saying that they’re “guaranteed” to find you your one true love forever, but there definitely is the technology out there to test genetic compatibility. Who knows what the future might hold?!!
The One is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, quizzes, drops and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.