12 December 2019

Selection of ideal DNA pairs

Harvard geneticist George Church creates a "genetic Tinder"

Sergey Kolenov, Hi-tech+

Harvard biologist George Church is known for his work in the field of decoding and editing genomes. He currently runs a laboratory that studies the genetic factors of aging and ways to eradicate viruses and hereditary diseases. However, among Church's projects there are also much more controversial ones.

In an interview with the program "60 minutes" on the American channel CBS, the scientist admitted that he is working on a dating app that will select the best couples based on genetic data.


According to Church's idea, the program will study potential partners and show the user only those with whom he is genetically compatible. "Compatibility" in this case means a low risk of hereditary diseases in future children, according to ZME Science.

The researcher claims that if everyone went through the sequencing procedure and matched themselves based on the data obtained, humanity would get rid of 7000 hereditary diseases. Among other things, this means saving about $1 trillion a year on medical care.

Church did not provide details about the application. For example, it is unclear which hereditary diseases will be included in the application and which algorithm will conduct the selection of pairs.

Experts reacted to Church's statement with skepticism. They note that the principle of operation of a genetic dating app frighteningly resembles eugenics. In addition, the connection of many diseases with heredity has not been sufficiently studied.

Perhaps some people will be rejected by such a program altogether, without finding them a single suitable partner.

Ironically, George Church himself, who suffers from dyslexia, attention deficit disorder and narcolepsy, could be among such unfortunate people.

"Genetic Tinder" is not the only reason for Church's criticism. The scientist also had to justify himself for receiving money from the scandalous billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, associated with pedophilia and human trafficking. 

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