Researchers Identify Gene Involved in Dog Size
[Tuesday, April 10, 2007]

Discovery May Help Efforts to Better Understand Genetic Influences On Stature in Humans, Other Mammals

BETHESDA, Md., Fri., Apr. 6, 2007 - An international team led by
researchers from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI),
part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has identified a
genetic variant that is a major contributor to small size in dogs. The
findings appear in the April 6, 2007 issue of the journal Science.

The branch of the canine family tree that includes domestic dogs
diverged from that of the gray wolf more than 15,000 years ago. Due to
selective breeding by humans throughout history, dogs today exhibit an
extremely wide range of body types and behaviors. In fact, dogs exhibit
the greatest diversity in body size of any mammalian species.

Although the research was not directly funded by the AKC Canine Health
Foundation, the findings still have profound effects on the ways in
which research is conducted. "We're very excited about these findings,
both with regard to the canine community and the implications for human
research as well," said A. Duane Butherus, PhD, grants chair of the
American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation. "The compact breeding
cycles and well-documented pedigrees of purebred dogs are helpful tools
in the search for genetic markers. The markers we find in canine
research are often the candidate genes for human research as well, so
'man's best friend' is truly becoming man's best friend in the fight
against disease."

For more information about this article as written by Raymond MacDougall
NHGRI, please visit our website:

Jeff Sossamon

Director of Development & Communications

AKC Canine Health Foundation

PO Box 37941

Raleigh, NC 27627-7941

(919) 334-4015 (b)

(919) 334-4011 (f)

(888) 682-9696 (toll free)

The AKC Canine Health Foundation, founded in 1995 by the American Kennel Club, is the largest nonprofit worldwide to fund health research
exclusively for canines. Our goal is to help dogs live longer, healthier
lives. The AKC Canine Health Foundation is proud to be the leader in
non-invasive genetic health research, stem cell research, and
biotherapeutics benefiting both canines and humans. We're proud to
announce we have allocated more than $18 million in canine health
research through 74 schools and research institutions worldwide.

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