Letting the Dog Genome Out: Poodle DNA compared with that of mice, people

11:42am, September 24, 2003

Chihuahuas, Irish wolfhounds, pit bulls, beagles, greyhounds, and more. Man's best friend comes in a range of sizes, shapes, and temperaments unmatched by any other mammalian species.

Biologists have now taken a step toward understanding that diversity by conducting a limited, but relatively quick and inexpensive, scan of one dog's full DNA sequence, or genome.

The data from this scan should ultimately help researchers study the more-than-300 human diseases, such as cancer and epilepsy, that also afflict dogs. The new work has already enabled scientists to compare the mouse, dog, and human genomes.

"The sequence of our genome is more similar to the dog's, despite the fact that the dog lineage split off first from the common ancestor" of all three mammals, says Ewen F. Kirkness of

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