They’ve been friends since the first grade, so Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal, YouTube stars with their own daily show, decided to see if there might be some deeper explanation for their tight bond.
On a recent episode of their popular show “Good Mythical Morning” the two looked at their 23andMe results and then compared traits like earwax, Neanderthal percentages and whether they got a taste of soap when they grazed on cilantro.
With the kind of friendly and funny back-and-forth banter that has made many of their videos go viral, the two used their results as a way to illustrate a recent scientific finding showing that friends tend to be more alike genetically than strangers. The study by researchers at Yale and UC San Diego was published last year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and looked at 2,000 individuals. The scientists found that friends shared about 1 percent of their DNA – equivalent to what fourth cousins would share – versus strangers who shared very little.
The study is one of several now that have looked at how shared genetics may help people bond.
23andMe researchers also looked at this phenomenon but focused specifically on couples with children. Our researchers found that, contrary to what some believe, opposites don’t in fact attract. The work just added to several studies done over the years showing that people tended to bond with those with whom they are more alike than those with whom they are more different.
Whether you are into the science or not, you should check out Rhett & Link’s show. It’s a lot of fun.