Newly identified genetic defect in dogs similar to rare human illness

06/14/2013 | ScienceMag.org

Researchers discovered a genetic ailment afflicting dogs that is similar to a rare defect in humans called centronuclear myopathy. It results in extreme muscle weakness that eventually leads to death before the age of 18 in humans, and research could lead to treatments for both dogs and humans. Roughly six in 100,000 human infants are born with the disorder, and researchers tapped an international network of veterinarians and identified five dogs with the same genetic defect and symptoms. Studies on two colonies of dogs have tested new treatments. "Thanks to genomic comparison, we are understanding finally that dogs and humans are sick in the same way and can be treated the same way," said veterinarian and geneticist Laurent Tiret. "Dogs help us and we help them."

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