In DepthAnimal Domestication

The genes that turned wildcats into kitty cats

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Science  14 Nov 2014:
Vol. 346, Issue 6211, pp. 799
DOI: 10.1126/science.346.6211.799

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Summary

Place a housecat next to its direct ancestor, the Near Eastern wildcat, and it may take you a minute to spot the difference. They're about the same size and shape, and, well, they both look like cats. But the wildcat is fierce and feral, whereas the housecat, thanks to nearly 10,000 years of domestication, is tame and adaptable enough to have become the world's most popular pet. Now scientists have begun to pinpoint the genetic changes that drove this remarkable transformation. The findings, based on the first high-quality sequence of the cat genome, could shed light on how other creatures, even humans, become tame.

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