A Study On The DNA Of Pet Foxes Revealed A Lot About Dogs And Humans

An experiment conduct by the Soviet-era to do the breeding of aggressive and tame foxes has developed great revelations of domestication and social behavior.

It’s been around 6 decades that scientists from Soviet-era have bred foxes both aggressive and tame. A new research on the genome level of both the group showcase, that the DNA of the animals was modified in a shocking manner. The research shows a relevancy in understanding the social behavior among the animals and even humans.

The whole process took a long way to reach the point where it is now. It was 1959, when Dmitri Belyaev, a man who started an experiment to decode the mystery that how dogs became domesticated. Belyaev and few more biologists believe that the dogs were the descended of the wolves, but yet didn’t have anything solid in their hands that can explain the behavioral, physiological and anatomical distinction between the animals.

Kukekova and some of her fellows come on one of the 103 different genomic areas that have created a difference between the aggressive and tame foxes. The research ends with a finding that SorCS1 is a gene in which the version of tamest foxes had in their system that is not accessible in aggressive as well as the bred foxes.

Kukekova says that there is no point of relating SorCS1 with social behavior in animals. However, it was known to be having an association with disorders like Alzheimer’s and autism in human.

The research also uncovers one of the genomic areas that got the attention of the researchers is the relation of domestication in dogs and Williams-Beuren syndrome that is found among humans, which is actually a genetic condition related with exceptional friendly behavior. Shockingly, this region found among the aggressive foxes, instead of the tame ones.

This shows that the subtleties still needs a lot of research.

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