Looking for love, one saliva swab at a time
From Thursday's Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jun. 04, 2009 12:00AM EDT
Last updated Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012 11:25AM EDT
Saliva isn’t generally regarded as a matchmaking tool, but a Montreal dating service is hoping to change that, one swab at a time.
The company, Intermezzo, has paired up with a Swiss company to offer hopeful singles “genetic compatibility” tests. These involve dabbing the insides of their mouths and mailing the DNA-loaded swabs to a lab in Europe.
Launched last month, the pilot project is too young to have yielded a success rate, but staff at Intermezzo are crossing their fingers for the 90 clients who have so far taken the tests. The service will follow up with them and their “biological matches” in August.
“Without convincing data to the contrary, we must assume that GenePartner sells a technology that is redundant or contradictory to what will ultimately be determined through non-genetically mediated means: the face-to-face encounter and years of history we bring to those encounters,” said Kimberly TallBear, an assistant professor of science, technology and environmental policy at the University of California, Berkeley.
Without evidence of its effectiveness, TallBear added, the most innovative aspect of GenePartner’s scheme may be “the savvy of marketers in matching consumer fetishes for genetic ideas with Internet dating.”
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