A Harvard Geneticist Wants to Make a DNA-Based Dating App

In some kind of alternate dystopian universe, it could eliminate genetic disease

dna dating apps
Tinder, but make it biology.
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By Kayla Kibbe / December 9, 2019 2:11 pm

Dating apps can pair you up with potential soulmates based on just about anything: your height preferences, age, religion, “soul signature,” etc. Now, a famed Harvard geneticist wants to throw DNA into the algorithm.

In a recent 60 Minutes interview, geneticist George Church revealed he wants to create a dating app that would match users based on their genetic compatibility — i.e., their likelihood of not passing on genetic diseases to their future offspring.

The idea, said Church, would be to eliminate genetic diseases by only matching up genetically compatible couples. If you think back to high school biology, you may recall that two healthy individuals could end up passing along genetic diseases to their offspring if they both carry the same recessive trait. Church’s dating app would seek to prevent this by not pairing up two carriers of such traits.

“You’re suggesting that if everyone has their genome sequenced and the correct matches are made, that all of these diseases could be eliminated?” asked correspondent Scott Pelley.

“Right,” said Church. “You wouldn’t find out who you’re not compatible with,” he added. “You’ll just find out who you are compatible with.”

It’s an ambitious plan of course, one that would ultimately require a decidedly dystopian restructuring of society in which every human on Earth were forced to undergo genome sequencing, register for the same dating app, and only procreate with people they matched with on said dating app.

Then again, given the current pre-apocalyptic state of the world today, maybe a terrifyingly dystopian DNA dating app isn’t actually such a far-fetched idea after all. And hey, if we’re going to end up in a dystopian hellscape anyway, might as well eradicate genetic disease, right?

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