The prospect of finding a mate through DNA testing seems a little agrarian to us. Compatible DNA? What if you end up with a long, lost cousin?
Well, the fascinating thing about Singldout's use of DNA testing for its matchmaking service is that opposites attract, especially when it comes to the deep biology of courtship.
It turns out that when the service tests for DNA, it's actually trying to match people based on “how dissimilar” certain aspects of your genes are, says co-founder Jana Bayad. Evolution wants us to diversify and, as such, we are often drawn to people who are biologically unlike us, she said. Example:
Singldout tests for three immune-system genes and one serotonin-transporter gene.
With the immune system, people are matched, Bayad says, based on “how dissimilar two immune systems are. The more dissimilar they are, the more attraction there is between two people.”
Guess Darwin wanted us to get some strange after all.
The serotonin-transporter gene that's tested can be responsible for how people respond to serious stress. Often they're either level-headed or unhinged. Bayad:
If someone's cool and someone else is high strung, there will be stronger compatibility than two people who are high strung.
In our earliest days of being human, when we were being chased by a woolly mammoth or whatever chased us back then (the tax man? drug dealers?), it probably would have helped our chances if we had someone cool-headed at our side.
The reason we're telling you all this is that Southern California-based Singldout is launching an app version in the following weeks. Just two weeks ago the site version relaunched as well.
The service works like this: Once you sign up online, the site will give you a personality quiz, and Singldout will send you a DNA testing kit that you send back. The firm analyzes the results and then matches you up with folks who they believe are genetically compatible.
“It's absolutely the science of evolution,” Bayad said.
Singles can tie-in their LinkedIn profiles to fill in additional information about their professional lives. Bayad calls it “a solution for single professionals.”
While other DNA testing start-ups have been hamstrung by federal regulators who accused them of making medical devices without approval, this matchmaking technology does not appear to be bound by the same rules since there's no medical component here.
It's not cheap, however.
The service costs $149 for three months, $200 for six, and $250 for the year, with all those packages including DNA testing. (Sssh: There's a limited-time coupon code out there for 50 percent off).
But the women behind the technology, including the other co-founder, Elle France, say it's heads and shoulders above the dating-site competition because, as Bayad put it, “it's based on biology.”
The duo came up with the idea after first meeting each other at a San Diego coffee shop.
“There really is a science behind attraction,” France says. “It's not just that you're attracted to them when you fall for someone. There is a reason you fall in love and want to be with them. It's in your genes.”