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Are you marriage material?

Narrator:       This is Science Today. Would you want to know before you got married what the odds were that you were headed down the road to wedded bliss? Well, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have taken a lot out of the guesswork out. Psychologist Robert Levenson found that people with two short gene variants, or alleles, are likelier to thrive in a good relationship and suffer in a bad one. Those with one or two long alleles were not as affected by emotions in a marriage. Finding this out is actually possible.

Levenson:      There are now many companies that will do genetic screening and they will tell you which alleles you have for these candidate genes. And it's becoming increasingly affordable.

Narrator:       But even if you did now, Levenson says it's still a philosophically interesting question.

Levenson:      So, I find out that I have the short alleles and that means emotions are going to really count. But if I'm in a really good relationship emotionally, I'm going to be really happy and if I'm in a bad relationship emotionally, I'm going to be really unhappy. So, I still have this same question — how do I get into a good emotional relationship? How do I find the right partner?

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.