The One on Netflix

Netflix’s ‘The One’: Can DNA find your perfect match?

Could The One really happen?

Netflix series The One revolves around a concept that might be intriguing to those who have struggled to find lasting romance through dating apps.

In the new series, a company claims to be able to find its customers their perfect match using DNA.

Geneticist and entrepreneur Rebecca (played by Hannah Ware) is the founder of MatchDNA, which guarantees its customers lasting love.

But how realistic is the concept of matching via DNA, as seen in the streaming platform‘s new drama? Is it possible in real life?

Hannah Ware as Rebecca in The One (Credit: Netflix)

Can DNA play a role in matching, as it does in The One on Netflix?

Our DNA could play a role in attraction. And there are already companies exploring – and even embracing – this kind of technology.

The Daily Mail reported in 2014 that one dating site, SingledOut, was testing the DNA of its customers and looked for certain indicators that match well.

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The company sends its customers DNA testing kits, which involve spitting into a tube. A lab then tests the for two genetic markers. One is related to serotonin, while the other related to the genes influencing the immune system.

Once the results come back, it compares them to others’ results.

Lois Chimimba plays Hannah in the new Netflix drama (Credit: Netflix)

The firm that makes the test kits, Instant Chemistry, has carried out research that suggested these markers can partly determine the likelihood of a relationship standing the test of time.

Speaking to USA Today, Instant Chemistry co-founder Ron Gonzalez said: “With online dating, you have socioeconomic factors people try to match on — religion, how much you make.

“This is another layer on top of that so you can better find matches.”

Most physical traits are determined by our DNA… DNA can influence our relationships with other people.

However, the significance of that ‘layer’ is in question, as scientists say that various environmental factors come into play when we choose a partner.

One scientist told USA Today: “[SingldOut only looks] at a very small number of genes, and you simply cannot extrapolate a prediction from those genes to long-term compatibility.”

That was in 2014 and today, SingledOut’s social channels link to the website

DNA Romance, in its company blog, lists 10 ways that DNA influences relationships.

Could The One really happen? (Credit: Netflix)

The role of scent in selecting a partner

Dr. Timothy Sexton wrote on the website: “You know that most physical traits are determined by our DNA, but did you know that DNA can influence our relationships with other people?

“Casanova noted in his memoirs that ‘I have always found that the one I was in love with smelled good, and the more copious her sweat the sweeter I found it’. The Sweaty T-shirt experiments performed by Professor Claus Wedekind’s laboratory demonstrated the scientific basis for ‘Casanova’s sense for Chemistry’.”

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According to Dr Sexton, it showed that opposites attract genetically “but only at specific genes that encode the receptors for our immune system”.

What does that mean? Various experiments, he said, have shown how, if someone’s natural body odour is appealing to you, chances are you share different MHC (major histocompatibility complex) genes.

This means you are biologically wired to be attracted to them (this includes for a friendship, too).

If people don’t like each other’s natural scents, it’s likely they have similar MHC genes.

This effectively means that, if you smell unpleasant body odour on someone, you could be genetically incompatible.


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Nancy Brown
Associate Editor

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