Couples Share Similar Genetics
Thanks to GE's Deltavision OMX Blaze microscope (crowned the "OMG" microscope by one researcher), scientists are now able to spy diseases in action down to the molecular and cellular level. It can zero in on bacterial cell division; watch cancer cells respond to chemotherapy; and observe viruses such as HIV move from cell to cell. We'll take a look at fascinating images from the OMG in the coming slides. Shown here: an epithelial cell in metaphase, with microtubules marked in red and DNA in blue.
In this human cervical cancer cell, DNA is stained blue and the microtubules green. The small red dot is the pericentrin centrosome protein.
It's fireworks in both directions for this mitotic spindle in a cell, with its tubulin stained green.
Human keratinocyte cells are stained blue for DNA and green for keratin-14.
This pebbled stripe of red is actually GE's "OMG" microscope revealing the sound-detecting sensory cells of the inner ear.
Green-stained microtubules highlight this cervical cancer cell. (DNA is shown in blue.)
This HIV tissue segment shows CD4+ cells stained in red, stoma in green and nuclei in blue.
The images produced by the OMG are "showstoppers," according to NIH director Dr. Francis Collins. These cells are no exception.
Did you pick your mate because “birds of a feather flock together?” or because “opposites attract?”
Researchers have found increasing evidence that the former is often true, even when it comes to genetics. Spouses share more genetic similarity than individuals who are randomly paired, they report today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“It is well established that individuals are more similar to their spouses than other individuals on important traits, such as education level,” the authors wrote. “The genetic similarity, or lack thereof, between spouses is less well understood.”
The researchers compared 1.7 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the genomes of 825 non-Hispanic white heterosexual American spousal couples to SNPs of randomly selected, non-coupled pairs of individuals to discover that there is a degree of preference for similar genetics. Still, it’s not close to the degree that education matters in coupling — at most, genetics accounts for 1/3 of the magnetism that education does, they said.
The research could help social scientists uncover underlying reasons for mating in their work on whether and why people partner based on factors such as height, education, religiosity nd political partisanship, the authors say. And it could also help inform statistical models used in genetic epidemiology.
Further studies would need to be done to expand the pool of participants to include more races, interracial couples, and homesexual couples, the authors note.
Photo: Madchen/PYMCA/Getty Images