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Research suggests Dog and Human Genomes evolved together.

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posted on Feb, 11 2015 @ 07:30 AM

Evolution shaped genes in humans and dogs that correspond to diet, behavior, and disease, according to a new study.

The bond between dogs and humans is ancient and enduring. Dogs snuggle up to us at night, gambol by our side during daily walks, and flop adoringly at our feet when we crash on our couches. But new research shows that the connection runs deeper than you might think. It is embedded in our genes.

Researchers from the University of Chicago and several international institutions found that several groups of genes in humans and dogs—including those related to diet and digestion, neurological processes, and disease—have been evolving in parallel for thousands of years.

This parallel evolution was likely driven by the shared environments of humans and dogs.

"As domestication is often associated with large increases in population density and crowded living conditions, these 'unfavorable' environments might be the selective pressure that drove the rewiring of both species," the authors surmise.

For example, living in crowded conditions with humans may have conferred an advantage on less aggressive dogs, leading to more submissive canines and eventually to the pets whose puppy-dog eyes gaze at us with unconditional affection

The study authors suggest that dogs were domesticated 32,000 years ago; that's much earlier than current estimates, which place domestication at around 15,000 to 16,000 years ago.

"Thirty-two thousand is a little bit old," said Bob Wayne, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California, Los Angeles. Although he does acknowledge that the timing of a split between wolves and dogs has varied widely—ranging between 6,000 and 120,000 years ago.

The scientists involved in the study sequenced the genomes of four gray wolves from Russia and China, three Chinese street dogs, and three domesticated breeds—including a German shepherd, a Belgian malinois, and a Tibetan mastiff.

They were then able to figure out which genes were associated with domestication and how far back that shift may have occurred. The team also looked at the dog genes selected for during domestication and compared them with human genes.

The study authors also proposed that dog domestication originated in Southeast Asia, rather than the Middle East

"The history of dog domestication is often depicted as a two-stage process," wrote Weiwei Zhai, a genetics researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing and a study co-author, in an email. "The first stage is from wolves to dogs. The second stage is from dogs to breeds."

Southeastern Asia street dogs, including the Chinese street dogs in the study, may be an evolutionary bridge between wolves and purebred dogs due to their greater genetic diversity when compared with other street dogs from around the world, Zhai explained. This would make the Chinese street dogs a kind of "missing link" among canines.

When Zhai and colleagues took their canine sequences and compared them with the human genome, the team found that sequences for things such as the transport of neurotransmitters like serotonin, cholesterol processing, and cancer have been selected for in both humans and dogs.

Though selection in the same gene in two different species, known as convergent evolution, is rare in nature, said Zhai, their results weren't too surprising. After all, humans and dogs have shared the same living environment for years.

In addition to sharing genes that deal with diet and behavior, dogs and humans also share diseases, including obesity, obsessive-compulsive disorder, epilepsy, and some cancers including breast cancer


This might be due to the fact that genes often have multiple effects, explained Zhai. "Some of the effects will be beneficial, while others can be deleterious. When the selective advantage outweighs the deleterious cost, the gene can still be selected [for]."

The cancer-related genes the research team found evolving together in both dogs and humans could be the result of processes like this, said Zhai.

In Conclusion

"This is nice that [their study is] based on complete genome data," said UCLA's Wayne, who provided reference data the study authors compared with their genetic sequences. Other studies have used only snippets, such as mitochondrial DNA.

But he cautioned that comparing human and canine genomes can be tricky, adding that the evaluation of canine sequences from other places in addition to China and Russia would have helped in the dating of domestication and in establishing its location.

Furthermore, Wayne said, without further comparisons between humans and other domestic animals like goats or horses, it's hard to know whether the parallel evolution in the genomes of humans and dogs is unique or not.

Even so, he added, the study adds another chapter to the story of dog domestication—a story far from over.

A Video explaining the Genome research:

I think this is fantastic research .. It really helps prove the theory of Human development/advancements by way of Dogs . Are Dogs are Mans BEST friend OR Vice Versa?..Either way pet a Dog today!

edit on 2/11/2015 by DjembeJedi because: (no reason given)

edit on 2/11/2015 by DjembeJedi because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 11 2015 @ 07:35 AM
I knew there was reason i like my dog more than most people/....he is at my feet as we speak.....what is really depressing is dogs do not live long boy is 13 and will not last a lot longer

posted on Feb, 11 2015 @ 07:49 AM
a reply to: DjembeJedi

I'm marking this thread...just lost my Pit Bull boy "Chako" and I know he was like my bro in a past life or something...maybe my dad. See you in a bit and thanks

posted on Feb, 11 2015 @ 07:51 AM
One of the dogs I live with has not only evolved alongside humans but has evolved past us into a realm we can only wonder at and hope to attain someday.
edit on 11-2-2015 by Aleister because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 11 2015 @ 07:57 AM
a reply to: hopenotfeariswhatweneed

OMG...was about to log off when I read your post. It's okay I guess, 13 years! Consider yourself incredibly lucky!!!!!!!!! I only had 8 years with my bestest friend ever and he passed in my arms just 2 weeks ago of a Mast Call Tumor...the forbidden canine cancer. It was horrible, but he just kept telling me "just leave me be...let me go at home", and that's what I did. It was the most horrifying experience in my life. Those 8 years I had with my Bro were incredible! I got to roll with the was a great ride!

Be back soon to tell you about my dream I had and experience with my boy Chako, if it's ok with the author and my continuation with his living friend other pit who's now like 10 and I just found out today he's doing about 95% well for an old guy. Boy does he look like a pup though. So awesome!


posted on Feb, 11 2015 @ 08:19 AM
Cue: "Humans did not evolve from dogs!!!"

Now that we have that out of the way. Carry on.


posted on Feb, 11 2015 @ 08:19 AM
If heaven went by merit, we would be kept out while our dogs were let in.
-Mark Twain

posted on Feb, 11 2015 @ 09:30 AM
It sounds to me as if while we were domesticating dogs to suit our needs, the dogs were "domesticating" us in their own way to better suit their needs.

I'm not saying humans and dogs met "half way" while bonding their relationship, but this study suggests that humans changed maybe just a little for the sake of the dog.

edit on 2/11/2015 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 11 2015 @ 10:16 AM
a reply to: DjembeJedi

I have always had the honor of being a dogs human, they ground me. This explains why most dogs or animals for that matter seem smarter then there humans.

Thanks for the post, now it will be a good day.

posted on Feb, 11 2015 @ 10:31 AM
Since we're discussing dogs, here ya go:

posted on Feb, 11 2015 @ 11:11 AM

originally posted by: ThePublicEnemyNo1
a reply to: DjembeJedi

I'm marking this thread...just lost my Pit Bull boy "Chako" and I know he was like my bro in a past life or something...maybe my dad. See you in a bit and thanks

SO Sorry to hear you lost your pup.
Here's to Chako! Salute'

posted on Feb, 11 2015 @ 11:13 AM

originally posted by: Aleister
One of the dogs I live with has not only evolved alongside humans but has evolved past us into a realm we can only wonder at and hope to attain someday.

HA! I have a Chihuahua/Yorkie mix that is scheming to take over the world..I swear..

posted on Feb, 11 2015 @ 03:21 PM
a reply to: DjembeJedi

Man's Best Friend.



posted on Feb, 11 2015 @ 05:42 PM
The most loyal friend there ever was, My 5 yr old Australian shepherd/collie mix. She never lets me out of her sight when I'm home, and is much smarter than myself. Dogs have been human body guards for thousands of year.

posted on Feb, 11 2015 @ 06:06 PM
a reply to: ThePublicEnemyNo1

Very sorry for your loss...It is really tough when they depart us,i lost my other dog some years back to a train of all things,she got out one day when i was not home and never came was horrible i left the front door open waiting and hoping,had posters everywhere,then a week later i got the dreaded call from the station worker who buried her.....i am still gutted ..she was only 5 years old......when my boy passes away i will most likely not get another as the loss is too painful...

posted on Feb, 12 2015 @ 06:54 AM
I read somewhere that as we co-evolved with dogs we lost most of our sense of smell as we relied on the dogs nose instead. I guess that freed up some brain space for tool use and such!

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