News of the WeekGenetics

A Ruff Theory of Evolution: Gene Stutters Drive Dog Shape

Science  24 Dec 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5705, pp. 2172
DOI: 10.1126/science.306.5705.2172

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Armed with DNA from more than 100 dogs, scientists have now shown that slight differences in the lengths of certain genes involved in development can transform a collie nose into a puglike one and even change the number of toes in one breed. Furthermore, their study, reported in the 28 December Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, drives home the potential evolutionary importance of repetitive DNA sequences called tandem repeats.