Navigation Links
Horse whisperers, lion tamers not needed: Scientists find genetic regions that soothe savage beasts

In what could be a breakthrough in animal breeding, a team of scientists from Germany, Russia and Sweden have discovered a set of genetic regions responsible for animal tameness. This discovery, published in the June 2009 issue of the journal GENETICS (, should help animal breeders, farmers, zoologists, and anyone else who handles and raises animals to more fully understand what makes some animals interact with humans better than do others. It may also lead to more precise breeding strategies designed to pass specific genes from one generation to the next as a way to produce tame animals.

"I hope our study will ultimately lead to a detailed understanding of the genetics and biology of tameness," said Frank Albert, a scientist from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany and the first author of the research report. "Maybe we'll then be able to domesticate a few of those species where humans have historically not been successful like the wild African Buffalo."

The roots of this study date back to 1972 when researchers in Novosibirsk, USSR (now Russia), caught a large group of rats in the wilderness around the city. After bringing them into the laboratory, the researchers divided them into two groups. The first group included the most "friendly" rats those that were not aggressive toward people. The second group included only the most aggressive rats those that screamed, attacked and bit the researchers. Since then, these rats have been bred with one another, and now, the two groups of rats act very differently toward people. The tame rats tolerate being touched and picked up, and never attack. The aggressive rats scream, run away, or attack and bite. For this research study, the scientists mated the tame with the aggressive rats and identified regions in the rat genome that cause a rat to be tamer or more aggressive.

"For thousands of years, humans have domesticated animals," said Mark Johnston, Editor-in-Chief of the journal GENETICS, "and all during this time, much folklore and mythology has surrounded the process. But of course genetics plays a large role in the process, and this research provides a solid scientific explanation of this phenomenon, and offers clues about how genomes can be manipulated to breed tame animals of species once believed to be untamable."


Contact: Tracey DePellegrin Connelly
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

Related biology news :

1. Fossil teeth of browsing horse found in Panama Canal earthworks
2. Evidence of earliest known domestic horses found in Kazakhstan
3. Decline of shorebird linked to bait use of horseshoe crabs
4. Queens University Belfast works to save Strangford horse mussels
5. Stem cell research to benefit horse owners and trainers
6. Sweets make young horses harder to train in Montana State study
7. The genetics of the white horse unraveled
8. Male seahorses are natures Mr. Mom, Texas A&M researchers say
9. Male seahorses are natures Mr. Mom, Texas A&M researchers say
10. New hope for horse lovers as effective control for killer ragwort is proposed
11. A private bandwidth for communication in bats: Evidence from insular horseshoe bats
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/3/2016)... 3, 2016 Das ... Nepal hat ein 44 ... geprägter Kennzeichen, einschließlich Personalisierung, Registrierung und IT-Infrastruktur, ... Produktion und Implementierung von Identitätsmanagementlösungen. Zahlreiche renommierte ... Januar teilgenommen, aber Decatur wurde als konformste ...
(Date:6/1/2016)... 2016 Favorable Government Initiatives Coupled ... Criminal Identification to Boost Global Biometrics System Market Through ... Research report, " Global Biometrics Market By Type, ... Opportunities, 2011 - 2021", the global biometrics market is ... account of growing security concerns across various end use ...
(Date:5/12/2016)... , a brand of Troubadour Research & ... Q1 wave of its quarterly wearables survey. A particular ... a program where they would receive discounts for sharing ... "We were surprised to see that so many ... CEO of Troubadour Research, "primarily because there are segments ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Charm Sciences, Inc. is pleased to announce ... Research Institute approval 061601. , “This is another AOAC-RI approval of the Peel ... President of Regulatory and Industrial Affairs. “The Peel Plate methods perform comparably to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university competition that asks ... systems and biotechnology, announced its winning teams at the ... York City . The teams, chosen ... MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the daylong summit. Keynote ... of architecture and design, and Suzanne Lee , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Supplyframe, ... of the Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in Pasadena, Calif., the Design ... of how hardware projects are designed, built and brought to market. , The ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Durham, NC (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... Odense University Hospital in Denmark detail how a patient who developed lymphedema after being ... (fat) tissue. The results could change the paradigm for dealing with this debilitating, frequent ...
Breaking Biology Technology: