Sunday, November 16, 2014

Thank You Genetic Changes For My Precious Cat

Everyone knows that cats are the best animal, but little was known about how genetics influenced the domestication of the cat. A recent study showed that found some of the genes that were responsible for the differences in wildcats and house cats. The research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that also looks at a journal article released in Gigascience that was about the cat genome. This was worked on internationally because cats are just that important. Really, they are important because more than 250 diseases that are found in humans are similar in cats. Cats are useful for the study of medicine and diseases for humans.
My cat Scruffles with Goldie the Chicken. He doesn't ever attack chickens.

The study showed that that the difference in house and wild cat personalities are their genes according to Stephen O'Brien. He said that cat domestication began with the spread of agriculture and wildcats were scavenging for waste. He believes that our human ancestors worked their way up to approaching a feeding wildcat and maybe even got their hands on a few kittens.
Looking at the genome, researchers found 3 possible genetic links that lead to a change in the temperament of the cats. House cats have mutations on genes to mediate aggressive behavior, form memories, and control the ability to learn based on stimuli. These cats mated and passed these gene changes onto their precious little kittens. Humans also were found to change the genes involved in cat diets because cats began to be able to digest plant matter much more efficiently. Getting involved with humans caused cats to become more domesticated and become the lovable cuddly balls of fur they are today.
This article is exciting because the genomes of cats have been examined more and can lead to medical changes for humans as more research is done. It also shows how genome sequencing are being deciphered and how scientists can link certain genes to certain traits and discover mutations and changes. It is also just exciting because it is about cats. Overall this article is a good read though.


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