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Thread: Natl Geo dog DNA article

  1. #1
    Senior Member RoughCollie's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
    Western PA

    Natl Geo dog DNA article

    The February 2012 issue of National Geographic has an article entitled What Dog's Tell Us: The ABC's of DNA. "Scientists have found the secret recipe behind the spectacular variety of dog shapes and sizes; and it could help unravel the complexity of human genetic diseases."

    The section about the three genes and their mutations that create different dog coats was interesting.

    I really enjoyed reading about how scientists analyzed the DNA of 85 breeds and discovered they could be placed into four categories, which they they named Wolflike, Herders, Hunters, and Mastifflike.

    The top 8 of the 85 breeds that had mostly Wolflike DNA were, in order: Shiba Inu, Chow Chow, Akita, Alaskan Malamute Basenji, Chinese Shar-Pei, Siberian Husky, and Afghan Hound. The vast majority of the remaining breeds had hardly any Wolflike DNA. Most dogs were in the Hunter category. The GSD's DNA is mostly in the Mastifflike category.

    They also talked about genetic disorders in dogs and how with one exception, they have not been able to identify genes related to canine behavior. That exception is a "dog version of the gene for obsessive-compulsive disorder in humans, which can cause Doberman Pinschers to obsessively suck on their fur to the point of bleeding."

    There was also a short article about village dogs. The scientist traveled to Africa and analyzed the DNA from 300 village dogs and found out that most of them were as closely related to wolves as they were to domesticated dogs.

    It was an interesting article, full of gorgeous photos of dogs and illustrative charts, and had more information than I have talked about. If you are interested in reading it, it is likely available at the library or at Barnes & Noble.
    Last edited by RoughCollie; 01-21-2012 at 02:28 PM.
    Aidan is a 3 year old, 50 lb., Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Crantastic's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    Prince Edward Island, Canada

    Re: Natl Geo dog DNA article

    Not the full article (I don't think so, anyway), but a bit, and there's a photo gallery linked above the article text.

    The centuries of breeding that produced such diversity in dogs also created isolated genetic populations that are helping scientists understand human diseases. "We're the people doing the genetics," says one researcher. "But breeders have done all the fieldwork."
    I wish anti-breeder people would realize how much good that (responsible) breeders can do.
    Last edited by Crantastic; 01-21-2012 at 02:40 PM.

    Crystal the Papillon and Casper the Alaskan Klee Kai

  4. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Alberta, Canada. Birthplace ___ Northern Alberta.

    Re: Natl Geo dog DNA article

    Quote Originally Posted by RoughCollie View Post
    The section about the three genes and their mutations that create different dog coats was interesting.
    What I found REALLY interesting is that there were breeds for which the three genes couldn't account for the phenotype . . . meaning there are more 'coat' alleles out there yet to be identified.. Afghans are particularly interesting as they LOOK like they would be l/l (long coat) but they are not. Of the ones genotyped the majority were genotyped as homozygous for wild type coat (short) . . . so yet another gene is what creates their long coat. (See the supplemental data from the link below)

    ". . . Three breeds with very long hair, including the Afghan hound, neither
    carry the Cys95šPhe variant nor show an association with CFA32, suggesting that
    additional loci exist that contribute to hair length in dogs . . ."

    Last edited by spanielorbust; 01-21-2012 at 03:48 PM.

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