Forum Replies Created
January 24, 2022 at 4:02 pm in reply to: Epilepsy in Border Collies #16195
It’s a worthy project, but a big one. Let us know how things go and if you get any traction!
JessicaJanuary 10, 2022 at 3:12 pm in reply to: Epilepsy in Border Collies #16174
Thanks for bringing this up, Beth. The issue with crowdfunding individual studies like this is the sample size we need. We’d need hundreds (ideally a couple thousand) border collies, and we’d need to be pretty confident that we knew which ones were affected. Since epilepsy can be later onset this would mean the controls would all have to be at least 5-7 years old. Collecting that number of dogs is a massive amount of work. If a breed club were interested in working with us, that might be the way to go – they could do the sample collection and we could do the sequencing and analysis.
Let me know if you want to talk about this more.
Jessica Hekman, DVM, PhD
Darwin’s Ark ResearcherMay 7, 2020 at 3:56 pm in reply to: breed specific gonadectomy info #15155
Hi, Glenn. We do collect information about whether a dog is spayed or neutered (you never know what you might need in the future), but this isn’t what we’re studying right now. It’s interesting stuff for sure, but not our area of research.
Darwin’s Ark ResearcherFebruary 3, 2020 at 10:43 pm in reply to: Option to “upgrade” later? #14964
Hi Katherine! So cool that you saw my FDSA webinar. About the upgrade question – so, while we would always love for people to have their dogs sequenced at Trailblazer level, honestly in terms of learning more about anxiety, that extra sequencing doesn’t help us all THAT much. We mostly get what we need from the “low pass sequencing” that we do at Explorer level. We are really glad to have Raven in the project and that you funded her sequencing – that’s incredibly helpful!
For those who are curious, what the Trailblazer level gets us is basically more info about dogs in general, rather than that dog specifically. We use the information to improve our imputation panel. This is the panel of about 700 deeply sequenced dogs that we use to interpret the low-pass Explorer-level sequencing that we do on most other dogs. So we loooove getting more of these, but really I don’t want to see anyone bankrupting themselves to do it! (If anyone reads that and thinks “I don’t get what that all means,” feel free to ask in this thread.)
Hope that helps and feel free to ask more questions.
JessicaJanuary 30, 2020 at 3:05 pm in reply to: Option to “upgrade” later? #14954
Hi Katherine. Thank you so much for wanting to support our project – we hugely appreciate it. For an upgrade to Trailblazer, we actually use more DNA than we use for Explorer (two swabs not just one) so we wouldn’t be able to just upgrade from your dog’s current sample. It’s not just more analysis, we actually do different stuff with the DNA, in other words. If you did want to go to Trailblazer but had already paid for Explorer, it would be worth asking us to look into discounting the Explorer price – I don’t think we have a policy about that currently and I have no idea what we’d decide, because it’s never come up. So it would be worth asking.
If your dog is more than 2% Australian Cattle Dog, we’ll find it! We don’t currently have McNabs in our breed panel, so we wouldn’t be able to find that for you – yet. We’re always looking to expand our breed panel and when we do we’ll re-analyze all our dogs and you’d find out then. Border collie sure sounds like it could explain a lot of what you’re seeing, though, and if Wisdom Panel is finding 75% BC then I expect there is indeed quite a lot of BC in there. Wisdom Panel does very well at finding breed ancestry with large percentages in a dog.
Let me know if you have any other questions!
Jessica Hekman, DVM, PhD
Darwin’s Ark ResearcherAugust 5, 2019 at 7:14 pm in reply to: Different results? #8181
Erika – good question! I don’t know if Embark rounds the numbers from their results, though it would surprise me a bit to see exact 50/50 results like that, so it’s certainly possible that they are.
We use different animals in our breed panel than Embark does, so it’s alternatively possible that your dog is indeed 50% golden and for whatever reason, one of the golden grandparents doesn’t match to golden in our breed panel (maybe it was a golden from an unusual-for-us population – from Europe, or from a line that hasn’t mixed much with others and we don’t have an example of, or something like that).
If this were my dog I think I’d assume the dog is in fact a 50/50 mix but I’d keep in the back of my head that there might be something else going on.August 5, 2019 at 3:25 pm in reply to: Different results? #8179
Folks – just wanted to clarify a few things that have been discussed on this thread.
Where part of a dog’s ancestry is marked “unknown,” this is because our computer algorithm honestly failed to match it to a breed. This is most commonly because those parts of the ancestry are so mixed up (lots of little chunks from lots of breeds) that the computer doesn’t have enough info to match it to a breed confidently. (We are hopeful that we’ll do better here when we start using more markers – getting our v2 breed panel up and running is currently one of Kathleen’s highest priorities.)
It is also possible that this is a breed that we don’t have in our panel yet. This is less likely for most dogs because a) we have the most common breeds in there except for American Pit Bull Terrier (which, again, will be in v2) and b) I’ve observed that when we don’t have a particular breed, but there is a large chunk of ancestry, the computer tends to match it to a closely related breed. So when you have Malinois, the computer tends to find German Shepherd. (Mal will also be in v2…)
When you see breed results with really small percentages – under 10% – don’t trust them too much. It’s just really hard for the computer when the bit of ancestry from that breed is so small. This is why, under 5%, we group them all into an “other” category – we don’t want people putting too much stock on those breed calls.
I hope this helps and feel free to ask me questions!
Darwin’s Ark ResearcherJuly 25, 2019 at 4:25 pm in reply to: Different results? #7615
Hi Kate. Looking at those results, I bet they were Wisdom Panel, because that panel tends to round results to 12.5%, 25%, or 50%.
Looks like the Bullmastiff is for real! 19.6-25% suggests that one grandparent was a Bullmastiff. The siblings could have gotten slightly different amounts, as Kathleen suggested. Also, the percentages aren’t exact representations of real life, they’re just what our compter analysis gave us. So it’s not too surprising that different computer algorithms from different companies would give slightly different numbers.
30.5% – 50% cattle dog sounds like you have 1 grandparent or 1 parent who is a cattle dog. I’m guessing the latter.
We don’t have American Pit Bull Terrier in our breed panel now, but we will soon. As Kathleen said, we’ll get those results out when the new panel is released. It will be interesting to see if APBT shows up in your dog then.
I’m not sure why the other company found “bull dog” and we didn’t. There are several breeds that are “bull dogs” (English, American, French…) so I’m not even sure which breed they’re referring to. It’s not a completely precise science for sure. Again, it will be interesting to see what our new panel tells you.July 23, 2019 at 6:07 pm in reply to: Dalmatian's #7588
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.July 22, 2019 at 5:16 pm in reply to: Dalmatian's #7571
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.
Jessica Hekman, DVM, PhD
Darwin’s Ark ResearcherApril 15, 2019 at 3:44 pm in reply to: "Carolina dogs" in reference panel? #7450
Hi, Stephanie. I took a look at Macy’s results and they look reasonable to me, though I can completely see how they would be surprising. The 30% unknown may well be Carolina Dog. There’s another 30% “other”. The breeds that are in that list are stuck in there because they’re all at less than 5%, which means we don’t really trust that they’re for real. So you can just as well look at her as 60% unknown/possible CD. (It’s debatable whether we should include the breeds that we have low confidence on, but we opted to give folks more information back rather than less.)
For the rest, I’d feel quite confident that she does have a grandparent who was a purebred Collie, leaving her with about 25% Collie. But all in all, she is a mixy-mix, and when you have so many breeds in there, the traits can combine in some really surprising ways. So it isn’t too surprising that she doesn’t really look like one thing or another.
Let me know if you want to talk more about this, either here or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and asking them to transfer the mail to me.
Darwin’s Ark ResearcherFebruary 4, 2019 at 5:36 pm in reply to: American pit bull #7294
Hi, Mary! We are working on it – getting APBTs into the next version of our breed panel is an extremely high priority for us. The final dogs we need for that are sequencing now (second pass – they failed sequencing the first time but are being re-run). There will be processing once they’re done. Our hope is to release a new breed reference panel and re-analyze existing dogs in the next 2-3 months. When that happens, we will send emails out to let folks know if their results have changed.
Believe me, the slow time frame is frustrating for us, too!
Darwin’s Ark ResearcherJanuary 16, 2019 at 7:25 pm in reply to: CBD oil for dogs #7237
Hi, folks. We ask that you not exchange medical advice on this forum – we don’t want to be responsible for it!
My advice – I’m a vet so this won’t surprise you – is to ask your vet about CBD. If they don’t know, ask for a referral to someone who does. Vets are out there with expertise in this area!
Jessica, Darwin’s Ark ResearcherJanuary 16, 2019 at 4:48 pm in reply to: Research updates #7234
Yes, you can’t know for sure if it’s true until you SCIENCE IT (and to be fair, often not even then…)December 12, 2018 at 2:27 pm in reply to: Research update #7151
I compared the labs to a lot of other dogs from a variety of breeds – I didn’t do one on one breed comparisons with any other breeds besides German Shepherds (it’s hard to find any other breeds with enough dogs to do that!). So what this suggests is that labs have a personality profile – particular answers that are more likely for them than for purebred dogs in general. I expect the same to be true for other breeds (just, different answers).
So I don’t think it’s that labs are less behaviorally diverse than other breeds (although I haven’t tested that). They are still very behaviorally diverse! But as a breed they are more likely to like water and retrieving and meeting new people than other breeds (as a whole) are.
I hope that helps – let me know if not!