I just discovered a marvelous article on canine genomics, its applications critical to both veterinary and human medicine.
In 2003, the US National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) agreed to fund a project to sequence the entire genome of a boxer dog named Tasha. Although the USA is a country of dog lovers, with approximately 38 million households owning one or more dogs, why did one of the National Institutes of Health countenance the use of $30m for such a purpose? The answer is that the NHGRI recognised the value of the dog as an unrivaled model for the study of human disease. In this paper, the reasons why the dog is such a good model are examined. Examples of where the study of disease in dogs is increasing the understanding of the genetic basis of human disease, of the development of improved diagnostic assays and of the evaluation of clinical therapies are provided.
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