Vision scientists report that dogs have an area of their retina that strongly resembles the human fovea. What's more, this retinal region is susceptible to genetic blinding diseases in dogs just as it is in humans.
With Crufts fast approaching, and canine agility in the spotlight, researchers ask if right and left-sided brain function and stimuli affect canine performance. There is a long established and debated human right brain/left brain theory: does lateralization of brain function affect dogs too? Their study reveals fascinating insights into workings of the canine brain.
Researchers have helped determine the science behind how canines locate explosives such as Composition C-4 (a plastic explosive used by the US military). The study found the dogs react best to the actual explosive, calling into question the use of products designed to mimic the odor of C-4 for training purposes.
Visiting your zip code very soon: snakes, and perhaps plenty of them. With warm temperatures and upcoming spring rainfall, experts say it’s getting that time of year when snakes are on the prowl, or at least on the slither. With Texas a ground zero for many snake populations, people and pets should be aware that snakes are out and about, says an expert regarding the creatures.
The first study to compare brain function between humans and any non-primate animal shows that dogs have dedicated voice areas in their brains, just as people do. Dog brains, like those of people, are also sensitive to acoustic cues of emotion, according to a new study.
The black-footed ferret is one of the most endangered mammals in North America, but new research suggests that these charismatic critters can persist if conservationists think big enough.
Leishmaniosis is a parasitic disease mostly afflicting dogs, but in impoverished countries it affects over 12 million humans, of whom 70,000 lose their lives every year. Researchers have developed a new method of detecting the illness in animals, based on a single hair sample, and saves a significant amount of money, time and human resources when compared with current combined methods of diagnosis
A new study has identified the specific effect Chiari malformation has on the shape of a dog’s skull and brain. This condition has become prevalent as a result of selective breeding and affects many toy dog breeds which have been bred to look more doll-like, including Griffon Bruxellois, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Chihuahuas and their crosses.
In a new study published in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution, author Dong-Dong Wu, et. al., explored the genetic basis of high-altitude adaptation of Tibetan Mastiffs, which were originally domesticated from the Chinese native dogs of the plains. Overall, they identified more than 120,000 SNPs, and in their analysis, narrowed these down to 16 genes that have undergone positive selection
Just as with people, feline obesity is most often linked to excessive food intake or not enough physical activity. Attempts to cut back on calories alone often result in failed weight loss or weight regain in both people and their pets.
As the Endangered Species Act celebrated its 40th anniversary at the end of 2013, its administrative agency, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, was mired in controversy. At issue was a proposal to remove the gray wolf (Canis lupus) from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and add the Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi).
Researchers have found a link between a mutation in a gene called RAB 24 and an inherited neurodegenerative disease in Old English sheepdogs and Gordon setters. The findings may help further understanding of neurodegenerative diseases and identify new treatments for both canine and human sufferers.
Researchers have designed an exercise study to see if exercising with dogs yields better health outcomes.
Dogs aren’t the only pets who sometimes bite the hands that feed them. Cats do too, and when they strike a hand, can inject bacteria deep into joints and tissue, perfect breeding grounds for infection. Cat bites to the hand are so dangerous, one in three patients with such wounds had to be hospitalized, a study covering three years showed. Of those hospitalized, two-thirds needed surgery. Middle-a
From the Faroe Pony to the Spanish Mustang, fewer animals have played such a central role in human history as the horse. New research reveals that a horse's gait, an attribute central to its importance to humans, is influenced by a genetic mutation, spread by humans across the world.
Researchers are making progress on the development of a new biometric technique that would allow us to identify people through their personal odor.
Although wolves and dogs are closely related, they show some striking differences. Scientists have undertaken experiments that suggest that wolves observe one another more closely than dogs and so are better at learning from one another. The scientists believe that cooperation among wolves is the basis of the understanding between dogs and humans.
Biologists have recently discovered that a wallaby's perception of color is more similar to a dog than a quokka, sparking questions as to why marsupial color vision has evolved so selectively. By developing a pokies-like game for the wallabies, the research was able to determine exactly what the animals saw and how their color perception differed from other species.
A new study highlights surprising differences between Herdwick sheep and their closest neighboring UK upland breeds. The research is the first of its kind to compare the genetics of three commercially farmed breeds all concentrated in the same geographical region of the UK.
Scientists have completed the genome sequencing of water buffalo. The outstanding work lays an important foundation for molecular breeding of water buffalo, and sheds new light on the understanding of its origin and domestication process.
Dogs' paths during group walks could be used to determine leadership roles and through that their social ranks and personality traits, say researchers. Using high-resolution GPS harnesses, scientists tracked the movements of six dogs and their owner across 14 30-40 minute walks off the lead. The dogs' movements were measurably influenced by underlying social hierarchies and personality differences
A cancer normally lives and dies with a person, however this is not the case with a sexually transmitted cancer in dogs. In a new study, researchers have described the genome and evolution of this cancer that has continued living within the dog population for the past 11,000 years.
Preclinical studies show that gene therapy can strengthen muscles and lengthen lives in animal models of a fatal congenital disease in children, X-linked myotubular myopathy. The findings demonstrate the clinical feasibility of future trials for this devastating disease. Children born with the condition have floppy muscles and breathing difficulty, and may need life support. Most die in childhood.
A recent study found that wolf predation of cattle contributes to lower weight gain in calves on western Montana ranches. This leads to an economic loss at sale several times higher than the direct reimbursement ranchers receive for a cow killed by wolves.
Dogs and wolves evolved from a common ancestor between 9,000 and 34,000 years ago, before humans transitioned to agricultural societies, according to an analysis of modern dog and wolf genomes from areas of the world thought to be centers of dog domestication.
The desert locust (a type of grasshopper), much like Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde, goes from being an innocuous solitary-living individual to become a voracious gregarious animal that destroys everything on its path (and back). These two very different “personas” are remarkable adaptations of a single genome to distinct environments. But apparently, this flexibility is even more impressive, as they reveal th
A new way to test for the parasite which causes the fatal disease leishmaniasis could help control its spread to humans and stop dogs being needlessly killed in parts of South America.
New research has estimated the prevalence of human-directed aggression in different situations, and examined the potential risk factors for dogs showing aggression towards people.
Most adults remember their first success in learning to swim using the 'dog paddle'. This classic maneuver has been used to describe swimming in armadillos, turtles, even humans -- just about everything except dogs. Biologists set out to understand how real dogs perform the dog paddle.
Researchers analyzed the body orientation of 70 dogs of different breeds, while the dogs relieved themselves in the open country and without being on the leash. The statistical analysis of the more than 7,000 observations was initially frustrating. But then the researchers made a striking discovery.