Saturday, April 07, 2007

Scientists: Genes determine dogs' sizes.....DUH!

Well, the picture caught my eye anyway. I read the article if only to see how much money we taxpayers contributed to this startling information the AP thought we needed to know. It turned out to be a little more than a big duh!

Dogs have the largest variation in body size of any land animal, so researchers led by Elaine A. Ostrander of the National Human Genome Research Institute decided to look into the reasons why.

K. Gordon Lark of the University of Utah, a co-author of the report, pointed out that dogs have 200 to 300 diseases in common with people, including high blood pressure, autoimmune diseases and cancer.

Known as a regulatory sequence, the difference is on dog chromosome 15 next to a previously known gene named IGF1, for insulin-like growth factor 1. The hormone controlled by the IGF1 gene helps mammals — including people — grow from birth to adolescence.
In small dog breeds a mutation in the sequence next to the gene kept them from growing larger, the researchers said.

So the research really has to do with extending this research to disease etc, in dogs, to the effects of this same gene in humans. Now why couldn't they say something smart like that in the headline. You can read the whole AP article here. The picture is still great! And I guess it is ok if some of my tax dollars were part of the grant. Now, if science could only figure out why cats always sit right on top of the newspaper you are reading! Nala.......MOVE!

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