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  • #5526
    brittney logan
    brittney logan
    Keymaster

    Darwin’s Dogs postdoc Jesse McClure recently wrote an article in the IAABC Journal explaining exactly how we are assessing your dog’s DNA. Check it out! We hope this helps our participants better understand our research. Also, check out the other dog, and pet related articles located on the IAABC Journal webpage.

    http://iaabcjournal.org/2016/10/01/spell-behavior-darwins-dogs-use-gs-cs-ts/

    #5527

    I just read this article, and it is such a cool project! I look forward to following the research 🙂

    #5528
    brittney logan
    brittney logan
    Keymaster

    Thank you so much for your support and participation. We are very excited about this research!

    #5529
    linda holub 2
    linda holub 2
    Participant

    I hope you can clear up some confusion I have with studying behavior resulting from DNA code. I understand “Herding dog” puppies will display herding behaviors & “non-sporting/lap dog” puppies will tend to sleep and be mellow. Because one of my dogs is diabetic and now has low thyroid the DNA behavior code she was born has changed. From what I could find online DNA does not change but there can be “epigenetic modifications, or “tags,” such as DNA methylation and histone modifications” which alter how DNA is displayed. It seems that changes such as this will complicate or throw a wrench into what you are researching. Can you clarify how epigenetic modifications factor into the study especially since you eventually want to apply it to human behaviors such as OCD and depression?

    #5530
    brittney logan
    brittney logan
    Keymaster

    Hi Linda, interesting question. We are looking for variations of the DNA in thousands of dogs and correlating these variations to the behaviors reported by owners. The dogs’ DNA will not truly change, but it will have these variations which could make a dog more susceptible to particular things, such as disease. The environment does indeed play a role potentially influencing behaviors, but that is all part of this elaborate puzzle. By seeing the DNA variations of each dog and relating it to behaviors that are reported we are excited to see the uniqueness of each dog.

    The sequencing technology we are using doesn’t detect differences in epigenetic modifications that happen during a dog’s lifetime, only things that are inherited between generations. Some of these changes, though, might influence epigenetic changes. Epigenetic modifications such as methylation actually require a different technique to read. Epigenetic changes are a really exciting and brand new field of research and we are running a different study (outside of Darwin’s Dogs) to look at changes in DNA methylation.

    It is wonderful that you took it upon yourself to research this topic and ask questions about it. I hope this helps you to better understand our research. Please let us know if you have anymore questions, and thank you for your support!

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