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No Spitting on the First Date

A Houston-based startup company called Pheramor has launched a new dating app called Pheramor, which claims to be able to use your DNA as a basis for matching you with potential dates, reports Gizmodo Australia.

For $16 and a monthly membership fee, the company will send you a cheek swab kit, and will then sequence 11 genes associated with pheromones. It then enters that genetic data into its matchmaking algorithm. "We use your attraction genes to determine who you are attracted to and who is attracted to you, right in your new dating app!" says its website

Gizmodo Australia says the algorithm doesn't rely on genetics alone to make matches. It also uses data from users' social media profiles to suss out likes, dislikes, and other relevant information. But some are still skeptical.

"I don't think there is any evidence that shows that this kind of DNA matching can lead better relationships. Indeed, this is a great example of a very complex - and culturally mediated - human behaviour that can't be reduced to genetics," Tim Caufield, a bioethicist and research director at University of Alberta's Health Law Institute, told Gizmodo Australia. "It is an example of using a bit suggestive science to legitimise a product that product that promises more than it can deliver. Yes, there is a bit of science [on pheromones] that can be used to make it seem like this is legit, but we are a long way from using genetic testing to find 'the perfect match.'"

Pheramor has launched in Houston in beta mode, but is planning a wider launch in February, the blog adds.