Tag: dogs

Canine Olympians

Watching the Olympics, I am awed by the athleticism of the contestants: they compete with strength, skill and coordination that I could hardly dream of possessing. Certainly hard work and determination has played a role in each athlete’s story, but probably good genes have also contributed to their ...

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How Did the Shar-Pei Get His Wrinkly Skin?

March 23rd is National Puppy Day! How did the Shar-Pei get his wrinkly skin? The question sounds like the beginning of one of Kipling’s “Just So” stories, but this and other questions were the subject of a recent genetics study. What gives some breeds their Lilliputian legs and others their lengthy limbs? ...

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2009 Spittoon Highlights – Part 2

In our last post we highlighted a few of the coolest (in our opinion!) health-related developments of 2009.  But human genetics isn't all about disease.  Here are a few more favorites: The Romanovs 2009 saw the identification of the remains of the missing members of this Russian royal family, as well as ...

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Study Sniffs Out Genes Behind Doggy ‘Dos

New genetic research may explain why Fluffy is so fluffy. A study led by researchers at the National Human Genome Research Institute scanned 1,000 dogs from 80 breeds, looking for genes associated with different hair types: curly, wavy, straight, wiry, long and any combination of these. Their results, ...

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Single Gene Responsible For Stubby Legs In Dogs

On occasion, the Spittoon departs from its usual mission of bringing you the latest and greatest in human genetics news in order to report on particularly interesting discoveries in other species.  Many times these stories are about dogs and the reason is simple: dogs are awesome. Well, there is more to ...

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Gene Links Gout in Humans with Bladder Stones in Dalmatian Dogs

When they eat purines, a class of chemicals that are found in many types of food and most abundant in organ meats and some types of fish and shellfish,, most mammals break them down into a substance called allantoin, which is then excreted. The only exceptions are humans, great apes and Dalmatian dogs, all of ...

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