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Many scientists believe the dog genome holds information that will benefit human health

esticated dog population," Kruglyak said.

One of the other three other groups contains Mastiff-like breeds that share common physical characteristics. Another includes Shetland and Belgian sheepdogs, Collies and other dogs with herding behaviors. The fourth group includes animals with hunting-associated behaviors. Parker said that research groups, including Ostrander's lab, are using information from their analysis to study specific canine diseases.

"We're now looking at narrowing down similar regions of DNA to identify single genes that contribute to particular traits," she said. "There are hundreds of diseases out there, and many of them have counterparts in humans."

In addition to cancer, the Ostrander lab is studying genetics of blindness and soon will begin a study on genetics of obsessive-compulsive disease. "What is so great about this study to date is that it's been a real community effort," Ostrander said. "We could not have done the work without the involvement of pet owners, breeders and community leaders who support the work we're doing to improve both canine and human health. This is just the way science is supposed to be done."


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Contact: Susan Edmonds
sedmonds@fhcrc.org
206-667-2896
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
20-May-2004


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