PerspectiveEVOLUTIONARY GENETICS

Of dogs and men

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Science  30 Oct 2020:
Vol. 370, Issue 6516, pp. 522-523
DOI: 10.1126/science.abe7823

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Summary

“But Argos passed into the darkness of death, now that he had fulfilled his destiny of faith and seen his master once more after twenty years.” This quote from The Odyssey vividly illustrates the bond between dog and human. These two species, separated by 90 million years of evolutionary history, have spent much of their recent past in each other's service. This interaction has remodeled both species' environments and has modified the phenotypic and genetic composition of dog populations. On page 557 of this issue, Bergström et al. (1) use 27 ancient dog genomes from across Eurasia, going back 11,000 years, to resolve whether dog domestication happened once or multiple times, whether dog dispersals and adaptations were coupled to those of humans, and how dogs interacted with their wild sisters, the wolves.

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