And so in addition to the 11 “attraction genes” Pheramor uses to suss out biological compatibility, the company also encourages users to connect its app with all their social media profiles, to be data-mined for personality traits and mutual interests.It works like this: For .99 (plus a monthly membership fee), Pheramor will ship you a kit to swab your cheeks, which you then send back for sequencing. The 30 year-old nursing student has been trying for years to meet Mr.Right—first on Grindr and Compatible Partners (e Harmony’s queer subsidiary), and more recently on Bumble—and has yet to find someone with whom he shares a real connection. So in December, while he was attending Houston’s Day For Night music festival, he stopped by a booth hawking cheek swabs, and handed over a few thousand cheek cells in the name of love.We know they exist and that somehow these 11 genes are linked to them, but we don’t know how.
The most famous are the “Sweaty T-Shirt Experiments.” Conducted by a Swiss evolutionary biologist named Claus Wedekind in the mid-90s, the studies involved a handful of college students with unshaved armpits wearing cotton t-shirts for a few days in a row, then handing them over to other college students to sniff and rate on intensity and pleasantness.
But experts like Wyatt say the science behind matching you with someone who has different immune system genes remains theoretical.
He cites the International Hap Map project, which mapped genetic variations from thousands of people around the globe, including many husbands and wives.
On its website, the company explains that people are more likely to be attracted to one another the more different their DNA is.
“The way species can ‘sense’ how different the DNA is in a potential mate is through smelling their pheromones,” states the site’s science section. “But the reality is that there’s no scientific evidence for something called a pheromone,” says Richard Doty, who studies smell and taste at the University of Pennsylvania.