Monday, April 09, 2007

Cool Pet News

Dog gone? Contact the K-9 Amber Alert and let people across the country know to keep an eye out for your missing mutt. The e-mail list posts notices about dogs that have escaped from yards, gotten lost during a vacation trip or that have been stolen from yards, homes or dog shows. Photos can be uploaded to the list as well. Click here for the URL.

Marley and Me faces competition. The life story of Dewey, a beloved library cat in a small town in Iowa, has just sold for $1.25 million to Grand Central Publishing. Dewey died last November, but his tale lives on.

A suppressor gene has been identified as the reason for the amazing plasticity in dog size. Dogs are the only species to produce adults with a 100-fold range in size, from the 2-pound Chihuahua to the 2oo-pound Neapolitan mastiff. The only difference between the two, according to a study published in the journal Science, is a tiny bit of DNA that suppresses the "insulin-like growth factor 1" gene. Elaine A. Ostrander, whom I've interviewed and heard speak previously, says the same gene suppressor is found in mice and humans. Ostrander is chief of cancer genetics at the National Human Genome Research Institute and says knowledge of the gene will be beneficial in cancer research.

No comments: