Finding the knight inshining armor, or even a spouse with whom you have chemistry, may be a tricky and frustrating challenge. It may sometimes seem mission (almost) impossible. However, ScientificMatch claims to be able to easily and scientifically find perfect matches by DNA analysis of genes linked to the smell of sweat. In other words, ScientificMatch may help you find the smell of your dreams…
ScientificMatch bases its matchmaking system on studies on the genetic reason for why women found the smell of some men’s dirty, three-day-old T-shirts more attractive than others’. DNA analyses of women who sniffed those shirts and of the wearers revealed that the odor preference is directly related to immune system genes differences. The women preferred the scent of men whose major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes were most different from their own.
The researchers focused on the MHC genes, as they have long been known to play a role in scent and mate selection in animals. The theory is that in order to perpetuate the species, we are naturally meant and biologically fitted to breed with other people who have immune systems different from our own. Such diversity produces healthier babies, as they have a wider variety of immune system genes and less inbreeding-associated health consequences. That way our species can adapt to changing diseases and disease environments.
The scent-based attraction is also valid for gay men and lesbians – they respond as would be expected to body odors, but to the same sex. However, this matchmaking method is not suitable for pill and other hormone-laden contraceptives takers, as the hormones chemically alter the sense of attraction.
Like most biological responses, mate preference and sexual attraction involve more than a single factor. Other than smell, there needs to be a reasonable amount of physical and/or intellectual attraction in the first place, and it’s ultimately up to our minds to decide whether or not we like what we’ve sniffed out. Therefore, even if the nose knows, I intend to follow my heart and use traditional matchmaking methods, at least as a backup. My knight may be right under my nose…