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Can you literally sniff out a genetically-ideal partner?

| | September 9, 2013
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Could it be possible for suitable partners to literally sniff each other out, finding an optimal genetic other half using their noses?

The basis for this notion is the so-called smelly T-shirt experiment, first performed by a Swiss zoologist called Claus Wedekind in 1994. Men were asked to wear plain cotton. After two days the shirts were placed in cardboard boxes with holes in them, and the women were asked to rank the boxes by smell using three criteria: intensity, pleasantness and sexiness.

Wedekind’s results appeared to show that the women preferred the T-shirts worn by men with different compatibility genes from themselves, raising the possibility that we unconsciously select mates who would put our offspring at some genetic advantage.

Read the full, original story here: Can you smell the perfect partner?

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