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Being a dog is not an accident, it's in your DNA: study

People often say: "I did not rescue my dog, my dog ​​rescued me". It turns out that there is more than that.

According to a new study published in Scientific Reports, the choice to adopt a member of the furry family is greatly influenced by the genetic makeup of a person.

The goal was to discover how a person's genes explain differences in their personality traits, a measure researchers call a "hereditary component."

The team of Swedish and British scientists studied 35,035 pairs of twins from the Swedish Twin Registry. Because identical twins share their full genome, and non-identical twins on average share only half of the genetic variation, comparing the two groups helps researchers learn more about the role genetics plays in behavior and biology.

In this study, scientists found that identical twins own dogs 50% longer than non-identical twins. He suggests that genetics really plays an important role in the dog company.

"[The results] demonstrate for the first time that genetics and the environment play equal roles in determining the ownership of dogs " says lead author Patrik Magnusson, a professor at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.

He adds that the next step in the research will be to identify the actual genetic variants that affect the choice of having a dog or not, and how those variants relate to personality traits.

The findings will make researchers come a little closer to understanding why dogs improve our lives, from helping sleep patterns and reducing the risk of allergies and asthma, to good and outdated exercise benefits that come from to walk dogs. says co-author Carri Westgarth, a professor of human-animal interaction at the University of Liverpool.

And, dive deeper into the DNA of dog lovers could help scientists understand how, 15,000 years ago, dogs were domesticated in the first place, says co-author Keith Dobney, president of human paleoecology in the department of archeology , classics and Egyptology. at the University of Liverpool.

"Decades of archaeological research have helped us build a better picture of where and when dogs entered the human world," says Dobney, a zoo archaeologist, "but modern and ancient genetic data now allow us to explore directly why and why. how. "

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