Short, shaggy, smooth or wiry, nearly all the differences in dogs’ coat types result from variations in just three genes, according to newly published research.
Variations in the DNA in more than 1,000 dogs from 80 breeds were studied by the researchers, and compared to descriptions of various coat types, according to an Associated Press report.
The study, published Thursday in the online edition of the journal Science, found that nearly all of the varieties of dog coats can be accounted for by combinations of genes called RSPO2, FGF5 and KRT71.
“What’s important for human health is the way we found the genes involved in dog coats and figured out how they work together, rather than the genes themselves,” said Dr. Elaine A. Ostrander of the National Human Genome Research Institute in Bethesda.
“We think this approach will help pinpoint multiple genes involved in complex human conditions, such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity,” Ostrander, chief of the cancer genetics branch, said in a statement.
The findings apply to purebred dogs: “We don’t know enough about the genetics of mutts,” commented co-author K. Gordon Lark, a biology professor at the University of Utah.
Dogs are descended from wolves and, like wolves, short-haired dogs such as beagles had only the ancestral forms of the three genes, none with variations.
Dogs like President Obama’s Portuguese Water Dog have variations in all three genes, producing animals with curly hair plus a “mustache” and large eyebrows.
Posted by John Woestendiek September 4th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: biology, breeds, coated, coats, dna, dog, dogs, fur, genes, hair, long, national human genome research institute, research, science, shaggy, short, smooth, variations, wiry
We all know what the phrase “in the doghouse” means, but here’s a look at what really happens once you’re inside.
It’s a nearly five-minute-long advertisement for the JC Penney jewelry department — pooh-pooed by some as “too long” — that has found a home on the internet, both on YouTube, and its own website, bewareofthedoghouse.com.
I disagree with its message: that only jewelry says I love you (which may be why I — one who sees romance in the functional, i.e. tools and small appliances — have spent so much time in the doghouse myself.)
But I love the ad — all 4:45 of it. And I think it shows that, whether it’s literature, news, websites, or even advertisements, creativity and wit trump short and stupid — that, contrary to popular belief, the reading/watching public does still have an attention span (newspapers take note) when given something worth reading/watching.
Enough preaching. There are only four shopping days until Christmas, and I’ve got my eye on a window cleaning kit I think my honey will really like.
Posted by John Woestendiek December 20th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: advertisement, attention span, beware of the doghouse, christmas, doghouse, gifts, internet, jc penney, jewelry, long, men, relationships, romance, romantic, website, women