A Tale of 2 Species: What Do Canine Chromosomes Reveal about Humans?

They say dogs look like their owners. Now scientists are uncovering the genes that give dogs--and humans--their traits
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Texas Belle, a white boxer, won't come if you call her—but not because she's disobedient. White boxers are prone to deafness. Elinor Karlsson and colleagues from the Broad Institute of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology identified a variation in the microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) gene in all 10 white boxers tested and zero of nine solid-colored ones.....[ More ]

Rhodesian ridgeback

Dogs sport fur of all colors and textures. But the Rhodesian ridgeback's distinctive coif compelled Salmon Hillbertz and colleagues from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences to investigate the genes responsible for the spiny Mohawk.....[ More ]


Some dog breeds are prone to obesity. Beagles, for example, need a lot of exercise and a strict diet to stay slim. A strong but coincidental selection for the gene FTO (for fat mass and obesity associated) has been observed in beagles, according to Akey.....[ More ]

Great Dane and Chihuahua

In February 2010 George, a Great Dane from Arizona, was recognized by Guinness World Records as the tallest dog, standing 1.09 meters from paw to shoulder (the height of a six-year-old boy) and weighing 111 kilograms.....[ More ]


The dachshund's short legs and long body are what spawned the moniker "wiener dog". Using a multibreed gene association approach, Heidi Parker and her colleagues from the National Institutes of Health linked a retrogene—a piece of DNA copied back from RNA—encoding fibroblast growth factor 4 (FGF4) with disproportionately short limbs.....[ More ]


Some shar-peis are wrinklier than others. The more wrinkles the dog has, the higher the levels of mucin—a jellylike substance in the dermis of the skin—and hyaluronic acid—a chemical in the extracellular matrix (the space between cells).....[ More ]

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