SoloRiver Posted September 10, 2007 Report Share Posted September 10, 2007 For handlers and everyone else heading to Gettysburg next week, my project will be at the Finals from the first day (Tuesday 9/18) through the double lift finals on Sunday (9/23). I'll be there with two colleagues: Dr. Nick Branson, our veterinarian/PhD postdoc stationed at Penn, and Donna Dyer, our vet tech extraordinaire. We'll be collecting samples from dogs the entire time we are there, so if you would like to participate let me know and we can work out a time (or time range) to get together. We will have a booth, probably near the eye clinic booth, so we should be easy to find. I will also be circulating around, catching up with old friends and volunteering in various capacities most likely. As at Soldier Hollow, we hope to collect a goodly number of samples from handlers' dogs, to expand our sample of working Border Collies (defined objectively, i.e., not by my subjective assessment, but as "dogs qualified to run in the national finals, and relatives/working kennelmates of those dogs"). We prefer to collect blood samples, 3cc-5cc per dog (which is approximately 1/3 of a tablespoon or less) or, if blood is not feasible, cheek swab samples. We are preparing to run the samples we get on Affymetrix canine SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) chips, which survey about 130,000 markers PER DOG. Cheek swab samples, while useful for many analyses, are not suitable for the Affymetrix platform. (They don't contain enough DNA, and the DNA they contain is contaminated by microbial DNA.) This is why we prefer blood. At this time, the significance of most of these markers for disease status is not known, but with current and ongoing advances in the field this situation is likely to change. Though I can't make any promises, this means that by participating you have the opportunity to have 130,000 possible genetic tests done on your dog, for no charge other than the time and effort it will take you to fill out a questionnaire and mail a copy of a pedigree to us. At the very least, you'll be helping us out with a pioneering, and currently unique, study into the genetics of behavior. We are currently investigating the genetics of noise phobia in Border Collies, with plans to expand the study to understand the mechanisms and genetics of hearing acuity and response to auditory commands in working dogs. In addition, collection of these samples will allow us to do a comprehensive survey of genetic diversity within Border Collies, and address questions such as whether or not there is a genetic "split" between Border Collies bred for different purposes, such as show vs. working. Thanks for reading! Hope to see you there. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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