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Dog (Man's best friend) Genome Sequenced

Researchers from Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard have published the entire genome sequence of dog (man's best friend). Human beings share similarity of their ancestral DNA with dogs// and the complete sequencing of the dog genome would provides a powerful tool for identifying genetic factors that contribute to human health and disease as both humans and dogs are mostly affected by cancers and the sequencing will help in identifying treatments for hereditary cancers.

The Researchers isolated the DNA sequence covering nearly 99 percent of the dog genome, from a female boxer named Tasha. The boxer was chosen as a representative of the average purebred dog to produce what has become a reference sequence for the dog genome community. Using the sequence information as a genetic "compass," they navigated the genomes of 10 different dog breeds and other related canine species, including the gray wolf and coyote. In this sampling, they pinpointed tiny spots of genetic variation, called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which serve as recognizable signposts that can be used to locate the causes of genetic disease. Dr. Ostrander's laboratory maps genes responsible for cancer susceptibility in canines and humans, including breast and prostate cancers. In addition, Dr. Ostrander was the lead author of the white paper that provided the biomedical rationale for sequencing the dog genome.

The researchers found that the certain sequence in the gene of dogs were present as small elements that are crowded around just a small fraction of the genes in the genome. Future studies of these clusters may give scientists the critical insight needed to unravel how genomes work. Other interesting observations emerged from this cross-genome analysis. The international team of researchers also identified roughly 2.5 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) sprinkled throughout the dog genome. SNPs are variations in the DNA code, some of which contribute to disea
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