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This topic contains 11 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by jessica hekman jessica hekman 2 months ago.

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  • #7570
    Deanna-Hayden
    Deanna-Hayden
    Participant

    Hello, I have a few questions?

    1. Do you have an purebred Dalmatian’s in the database?
    2. What percentage of the research is being done on behavioral versus health traits?
    3. Are genes being linked to specific phenotypic abnormalities by breed or just as a collection?
    4. Are you collecting DNA from dogs as a DNA reference databank for other researchers who need it for a specific study?
    5. As gene(s) abnormalities are identified are people who have donated their dogs DNA notified for breed advancement purposes?
    6. Are financial donations tax deductible?

    Thank you!

    #7571
    jessica hekman
    jessica hekman
    Keymaster

    Hi Deanna. I’m going to answer some of your questions as one of the DA researchers. I’ll let other team members answer some of your other questions.

    2) Currently we are looking at some morphological traits (size, coat color), lots of behavioral traits, and focusing on food allergies for health traits. However, we are actively working on developing a health portal so we can start collecting more health info and start studying that. I actually have a meeting about this later this afternoon with another researcher.

    3) Genes are linked to phenotypes in studies that go across all the breeds we have. We aren’t currently looking at traits that are breed specific, but if we started looking at some of those, we might focus on specific breeds. What we expect to produce is something like “this mutation in this gene affects this trait,” and we should then be able to say which breeds that mutation appears in, at least in our dataset.

    4) Not specifically at this time, but we want to! We are very open to collaboration. And all our data will be freely available to anyone who wants to analyze it.

    5) At this point, we’re not looking at health data, so we’re not really looking at stuff that has strong effects. In other words, we don’t currently expect to produce information like “your dog has a very high risk of heart disease.” (If we did produce results like that, we’d tell owners.) We more expect to produce results like “this mutation, along with many many others, affects personality like so,” and since the actual effects of such a mutation on its own would be very low, we probably wouldn’t tell individual owners (it would lead to too much misinterpretation). But who knows! We haven’t published any such mutations yet so who knows how things will work when we do. We do want to start giving more info back – things like the alleles that affect size and coat color – so that’s what we’re focusing on for now.

    Feel free to ask questions.

    Best,
    Jessica Hekman, DVM, PhD
    Darwin’s Ark Researcher

    #7572
    brittney logan
    brittney logan
    Keymaster

    Hi Deanna, great questions!

    To answer your first one: Do you have an purebred Dalmatian’s in the database?

    Yes, we do have purebred Dalmatian in our reference panel. The list of breeds that we are able to call right now are up on our FAQ page. This list will contunie to grow as the research progresses.If there is a breed of interest not in our panel, we encourage our participants to spread the word to owners of these breeds to enroll their dogs. We need at least 12 purebreds per breed in order to add them to our reference panel.

    To answer your 6th question: Are financial donations tax deductible?

    It is not if you choose our Explorer Level discounted offer of $149 upon completion of 10 surveys, OR if we already have the sample and you pay $99. If you do choose the Explorer Level $249 or our Trailblazer Level, then yes some portion will be tax deductible.

    I hope this helps!
    Brittney

    #7575
    Deanna-Hayden
    Deanna-Hayden
    Participant

    Thank you so much for the responses!
    So just to clarify, you mentioned you need at least 12 purebreds per breed in order to add them to the reference panel. Since Dalmatian is listed in the reference panel list does this mean you have sequenced the entire genome of at least 12 purebred Dalmatians?

    #7576
    Deanna-Hayden
    Deanna-Hayden
    Participant

    Are you doing any research on copper storage liver disease?

    #7577
    Deanna-Hayden
    Deanna-Hayden
    Participant

    Do you publish the results of your studies in peer-reviewed journal articles? If so, are there references on this site?

    #7583
    brittney logan
    brittney logan
    Keymaster

    Hi Deanna,

    The canine genome consists of ~ 3 billion bases. Most genetics test for dogs look at 150,000 – 200,000 bases. Our research goes even deeper, as we look at 9 million bases per dog for our genetic studies. For our breed calling, because of existing data available on purebreds, we look at 150,000 but are increasing that number to 1.2 million, thanks to our awesome PhD student Kathleen Morrill! By participants like yourself enrolling your purebreds, you are contributing millions of variants to our database.

    As for your question about copper storage liver disease, we are not yet focusing on specific diseases. As Jessica mentioned though, we are working to develop a health portal, so once that is up an running we will likely have a better idea of where the research will go in terms of looking into health.

    We currently have one paper out that is related to Darwin’s Ark data that we have published.

    Megquier, K.; Genereux, D.P.; Hekman, J.; Swofford, R.; Turner-Maier, J.; Johnson, J.; Alonso, J.; Li, X.; Morrill, K.; Anguish, L.J.; Koltookian, M.; Logan, B.; Sharp, C.R.; Ferrer, L.; Lindblad-Toh, K.; Meyers-Wallen, V.N.; Hoffman, A.; Karlsson, E.K. BarkBase: Epigenomic Annotation of Canine Genomes. Genes 2019, 10, 433.
    https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10060433

    We will certainly be publishing in peer-reviewed journals as the research continues on!

    #7584
    brittney logan
    brittney logan
    Keymaster

    If you are interested in getting you dog’s full genome sequenced, we do offer that! On our FAQ page we have more information about our Trailblazer Level – $2,199 (discounted to $1,999 upon completion of 10 short surveys).

    #7585
    Deanna-Hayden
    Deanna-Hayden
    Participant

    I’m going to try this in a couple posts since I keep getting the error message if there is to much text. So if I understand correctly, at this point the primary focus of the DNA testing occurring through Darwin’s Ark is for the purpose of breed identification with some health (specifically allergies) and behavioral research testing along with the beginning stages of the development of a database to store clinical health symptoms in hopes of eventually linking this to observed gene variants. Am I understanding correctly?

    #7586
    Deanna-Hayden
    Deanna-Hayden
    Participant

    Is the sequence data generated during testing through Darwin’s Ark added to BarkBase?

    #7587
    Deanna-Hayden
    Deanna-Hayden
    Participant

    Unfortunately I keep getting an error message when trying to post my last question…

    #7588
    jessica hekman
    jessica hekman
    Keymaster

    Hi, Deanna. We’ll get our developer to take a look and see why too much text is breaking things. Thanks for letting us know.

    Yes, I think your understanding of our current focus is correct. We are not depositing sequences into BarkBase, but we are happy to provide them on request and are looking into better ways of making them publicly available.

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