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Brief Funct Genomic Proteomic. 2005 Jul;4(2):112-28.

Dogs really are man's best friend--canine genomics has applications in veterinary and human medicine!

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  • 1Oncology Research Group, Animal Health Trust, Lanwades Park, Kentford, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 7UU, UK.


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 30 m dollars for such a purpose? The answer is that the NHGRI recognised the value of the dog as an unrivalled 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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