Dogged Research: The Top 10 Canines of Science [Slide Show]

Dogs have played heroic roles throughout the history of modern science in experiments that weren't always humane
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Goyet Dog

This unassuming dog skull was collected from the Goyet Cave in Belgium in the 1860s, but its significance didn't come to light until nearly 150 years later when radiocarbon dated it at 31,700 years old, making it the world's oldest dog.....[ More ]

Labs on Ice

Without his canine helpers Arctic marine biologist Brendan Kelly's work would be lost, maybe even literally. That's because Kelly's research subjects, ringed seals, live under the sea ice during winter, surfacing to breathe in air pockets under the snowdrift.....[ More ]


Laika, which means barker in Russian, had the honor of being the very first dog in orbit—nay, the very first Earthling in orbit.* Who would have thought a stray from the streets of Moscow would get so far?....[ More ]

Melanoma dog

If history didn't back it up, the first reported case of a dog sniffing out cancer might have been dismissed as a tasteless April Fools' joke.

Two London dermatologists wrote a short letter titled, "Sniffer Dogs in the Melanoma Clinic?" in the April 1, 1989, issue of The Lancet.....[ More ]


Charles Darwin, the grandfather of evolution and dog owner many times over, was a keen observer of his four-legged friends and how they related to his academic pursuits.

"His little dog Polly was quite a favorite of his," says Janet Browne, a historian of science at Harvard University and author of several works about Charles Darwin including a two-volume biography.....[ More ]

Marjorie on the roof being fed

Before the discovery of insulin in 1921 diabetics suffered an inexorable demise. Enter Fred Banting, a broke Ontario doctor, and his student helper Charles Best. The pair spent the summer of 1921 toiling in a lab at the University of Toronto in search of an antidiabetic pancreatic extract.....[ More ]


By the time Shadow's draft genome was in press at Science, scientists at the National Institutes of Health's National Human Genome Research Institute were holding auditions to find the best dog for the job of having its entire genome sequenced.....[ More ]


Craig Venter had a dog—in fact, he had three. He also had a penchant for racing to sequence the genomes of organisms. Which is how on September 26, 2003, The Institute for Genome Research (now known as the J.....[ More ]

Pavlov's Dog

By today's standards, Ivan Pavlov's experiments on dogs would make him the canine equivalent of Dr. Kevorkian, but in 1904 the Russian physiologist was celebrated with a Nobel Prize for unmasking the inner workings of the digestive system (for example, he would implant tubes into dogs' stomachs to study gastric secretions), which previously had been a mystery to scientists.....[ More ]


Sure the cloning of Dolly the sheep in 1996 was a big deal. But let's be honest, a sheep has nothing on a puppy. So when scientists at Seoul National University introduced to the world history's first cloned dog in 2005, a floppy Afghan hound pup named Snuppy (after the university), we were quickly besotted.....[ More ]

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