World’s Oldest Genome Sequenced From 700,000-Year-Old Horse DNA

26 06 2013

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World’s Oldest Genome Sequenced From 700,000-Year-Old Horse DNA

Samples from a horse leg bone more than 700,000 years old have yielded the oldest full genome known to date.

The ancient horse genome also allowed the team to determine the evolutionary relationship between modern domestic horses and the endangered Przewalski’s horse, a native to the Mongolian steppes that represents the last living breed of wild horse.

The team found that Przewalski’s horses were an offshoot of the lineage that gave rise to domestic horses. The two groups diverged around 50,000 years ago.

More at NatGeo: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/06/130626-ancient-dna-oldest-sequenced-horse-paleontology-science

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Another breakthrough in colour genetics (or, if you prefer, “They’ve more or less dun it”)

5 05 2008

Ma préférée, originally uploaded by freddou_lutra.

Dun factor genetic testing is now available. Sort of. According to UC Davis, “The specific mutation that causes Dun has not yet been identified, and there is no direct test for the gene. VGL has identified DNA markers associated with Dun that can be used to determine if a horse has the Dun gene and how many copies.” They’re still doing research to pinpoint the exact genes, but this is still an exciting breakthrough. Also check out this article on primitive markings from Dun Central Station.

Related posts:

Brindle filly

New dilution gene found

Recent breakthroughs in colour genetics

Silver dapple update

Dappled things

Brindle horses

What’s dun is dun

Starving horses were part of an unusual breeding program

One for Ripley’s?

Horse colour demystified: the basics

Horse colour demystified: the cream gene

Quiz: what colour horse would you be?

Horse colour demystified: the dun gene

The science of spots

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World’s first cloned horse has a foal (the old-fashioned way)

5 05 2008

Prometea, a cloned Haflinger mare, gave birth to Pegaso on March 17; full story here. Interesting that her creator, Professor Cesare Galli, has faced criminal and religious sanctions for his reproductive research. Anyone know what legal grounds Italian authorities would have for seizing a cloned bull?

Related posts:

Five memorable mares

They did it again

Cloned mule trains for first race at San Joaquin fair

Company produces clones from cutting horses

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Eight Belles

3 05 2008

Eight Belles

(Image source: New York Times)

I know. I know. Go read these:

Why we care…or not

Please don’t create a cult around her

Read this one twice:

Breeding out the usefulness?

UPDATE: oh hello Washington Post, nice of you to ask the same questions… ;)

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Equine blog roundup

28 08 2007

Procession, originally uploaded by MaiKoh.

A quick look at what’s happening in the equine blogosphere:

Kimberly at I Gallop On shares a horsewoman’s secret

Barn Goddess has some great photos (bonus: palomino!)…

Rising Rainbow at MiKael’s Mania reveals five things we didn’t know about her

Jerri at Learning Horses offers five reasons to watch someone else ride your horse

Jane Savoie has twelve things you must know about putting your horse on the bit…

petArtistWithPeaches muses on the joys of peastone gravel

Deanna at Improving Communication Between Horse and Rider schools us on relative space

Fran Jurga reports on what (or who) might be behind the latest outbreak of equine influenza in Australia…

Fugly Horse of the Day has some sobering auction results (take the polls while you’re there, too!)…

Two contests at Karen’s EasyCare blog: Name the new EasyCare boot and a video competition

Transylvanian Horseman has some tips for spotting princesses in your midst…

There are plenty more great blogs in my sidebar; check ‘em out! If you’ve got a site you’d like to see on Bridlepath, I’m all ears…

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Brindle filly

19 08 2007

Stripes

I noticed this stripey girl at Heaven Can Wait equine rescue. Not much is known about her except that she’s a Standardbred cross, 1.5 years old and in need of some TLC. (“But Defrost, what’s a brindle horse?”)

Related posts:

New dilution gene found

Recent breakthroughs in colour genetics

Silver dapple update

Dappled things

Brindle horses

What’s dun is dun

Starving horses were part of an unusual breeding program

One for Ripley’s?

Horse colour demystified: the basics

Horse colour demystified: the cream gene

Quiz: what colour horse would you be?

Horse colour demystified: the dun gene

The science of spots

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Oh man, I am in LOVE

16 08 2007

with Fugly Horse of the Day:

This blog exists to object publicly to the breeding of fugly, often mixed breed horses which tend to have short, miserable lives and wind up in slaughterhouses. If you are not going to breed quality, don’t breed at all. It is not “cute” to have a cowhocked, knock kneed, fugly draft/QH/warmblood cross foal that you don’t do shit with and then dump for $150 at a killer auction as an unhandled two year old that runs people over. I see it ALL the time and I am SICK of it. If you do this, YOU SUCK. And that’s why I’m online bitching about you. Stop breeding the fugly, folks. There is no market for it. And if you don’t know what fugly is, read this blog and learn. My e-mail is resqtb@yahoo.com and I am usually way behind on e-mail, so don’t be offended if you do not get a response right away.

Another advocate of RESPONSIBLE breeding, hooray! Sometimes cruel but always on target. Go bookmark it NOW. (Found via Carinya Park)

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Breeding out the usefulness?

Buy one, get one free?!

Breeding back to the future–while you still can

Bridlepath’s Hall of Shame: Gene Parker

Starving horses were part of an unusual breeding program

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Why are there no unicorns?

4 06 2007

Unicorn, originally uploaded by Der_Flo ☮.

Why are there no unicorns? Perhaps horses develop in a way that cannot be easily modified to produce a unicorn, so such creatures have never arisen. Or maybe unicorn-like animals have been born in the past but because there is no advantage for a horse to have a horn, such creatures did not thrive and were weeded out by natural selection. Check out this great article from sciencedaily.com for more.

Related posts:

Mythical horses on stamps

The vengeful unicorn

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Using horses to predict earthquakes

30 05 2007

China tomb horses, originally uploaded by mharrsch.

Chinese officials believe animals can be used to predict earthquakes, and are setting up a monitoring station at a wildlife park that will use more than 50 horses.

The station, in southwestern Beijing, will use birds and animals as sensors.

News agencies report that the station will use more than 50 horses, as well as donkeys, peacocks, snakes, turtles, frogs, deer and other animals. In all, more than 10,000 birds and animals live in the 240-hectare wildlife reserve where the station will be based.

A senior zoo keeper will monitor animal behaviour each day and report into China’s seismological bureau.

Officials believe the animals are likely to demonstrate unusual behaviour in the lead-up to an earthquake.

The park is reportedly located near a faultline.

A zoo in Guangdong Province is also said to be using animals to predict quakes. Link

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Race horse research unit will be closing in Newmarket

15 05 2007

thoroughbredhorse203.jpgThe BBC reports that the Equine Fertility Unit at Newmarket will be closing due to funding issues. Ten jobs will be lost and eighty horses put down. In the past, the EFU produced the first test-tube foal in Europe, and said it needed guaranteed funding of £450,000 a year for the next decade to continue its work.

The Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association, which funds the unit using cash from the Horse Race Betting Levy Board, said this was an unacceptable demand. Professor William Twink Allen, who heads the unit, said the decision to withdraw funding was a short-sighted move.

“I’m gutted really as it is a stupid and illogical decision. We’ve spent 20 years building the unit’s worldwide reputation and the staff to maintain this.

“To lose it for the want of £150,000 year in an industry where a lot of stallions charge that in a fee for a mare is short-sighted.”

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Five fives

11 05 2007

Muscles of that Strawberry Roan, originally uploaded by mveaches.

How’s that for a metapost?

1. Top five reasons not to buy your first horse at auction

2. Five steps to a great horse pasture

3. Top five myths about cutting horses

4. Around the world in five horse races

5. Five True Horse Stories by Margaret Davidson

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Things you probably shouldn’t say around non-horse people

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Five Things You Don’t Know About Me

The truth about horse people

Five famous black horses

Five breeds you’ve (probably) never heard of

Five competitive equine world records

Five memorable mares

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Pergolide update: still allowed for horses!

11 05 2007

Pergolide

A couple of weeks ago I told y’all that Pergolide, commonly prescribed to help horses with Cushings, was in danger of being pulled from the market because the FDA was concerned about possible side effects in humans. Equine Pergolide Action reports today that the FDA has released a statement saying it will still be available for veterinary use:

http://www.fda.gov/cvm/pergolide.htm

“CVM recognizes that veterinarians are prescribing pergolide for the treatment of Cushing’s Syndrome in horses. Veterinarians have been prescribing the drug under the provisions of the Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Act which allows veterinary practitioners to prescribe approved human drugs for “extralabel” use in animals.

“FDA is working with the sponsors of the approved products and all other interested parties to ensure that pergolide remains available to treat Cushing’s Syndrome in horses until a new animal drug application is approved for that use. This includes trying to make the approved product available through veterinary distribution channels and exercising enforcement discretion as appropriate over the pharmacy compounding of pergolide. Bulk substance used for pharmacy compounding should be labeled for “animal use only.” All pharmacy compounding must be done under a valid veterinary prescription to treat an affected horse.”

Great news, and many thanks to Sherri for letting Bridlepath know about this site.

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The science of spots

30 04 2007

Appylacians, originally uploaded by MaiKoh.

From thehorse.com:

The Appaloosa Project is a research initiative being conducted by a team of researchers from Canada and the United States. It is a long-term effort designed to identify and isolate the main genes responsible for Appaloosa patterning, and to investigate key physical traits associated with these genes.

The Appaloosa Project’s new Web site, www.appaloosaproject.info is designed for breeders and enthusiasts of Appaloosas and all other spotted breeds. The site presents the most current scientific research into Appaloosa coat patterning in layman’s terms.

Appaloosaproject.info comprises three parts: a general access area open to all visitors, an educational resource area, and an electronic classroom. Subscribers to the resource area have access to articles and in-depth answers to many commonly asked questions on Appaloosa genetics. On the site’s interactive forum, the researchers will answer members’ questions relating to their own breeding programs, and members can learn how to apply new knowledge about Appaloosa genetics in order to increase the odds of consistently breeding well-marked foals.

“Not only can Appaloosa breeders from all over the world access the most recent, researched information directly from the source, they can ask the researchers for assistance,” said Appaloosa Project Coordinator Sheila Archer.

Formerly a free Yahoo-based group with more than 1,000 members, The Appaloosa Project will now require a subscription for full access.

“We are at a critical point in our research, and need to find new ways to raise funds,” Archer said. “It is our hope that by moving to a subscription-based service, we can achieve our research goals faster, offering our educational services as a means of fundraising for research initiatives.”

The Appaloosa Project has a number of studies underway that will impact [sic] breeders of spotted horses.

Some of the most eagerly awaited research is the completion of the search for the ‘Lp’ gene, the key gene responsible for causing a horse to have Appaloosa color characteristics. Members of the Appaloosa Project discovered the location of LP on equine chromosome 1 (Terry, Archer, Brooks, Bernoco and Bailey, 2004), but the ongoing process of identifying the gene and the causative mutation is a painstaking, lengthy, and expensive. This research will ultimately result in the development of a DNA test.

Related posts:

New dilution gene found

Recent breakthroughs in colour genetics

Silver dapple update

Dappled things

Brindle horses

What’s dun is dun

Starving horses were part of an unusual breeding program

One for Ripley’s?

Horse colour demystified: the basics

Horse colour demystified: the cream gene

Quiz: what colour horse would you be?

Horse colour demystified: the dun gene

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Horse colour demystified: the dun gene

29 04 2007

Grulla mustang

Grulla mustang stallion. Image source

The dun gene is easily the most misunderstood of all the colour genes. Let’s get this out of the way first: buckskin and dun are not the same thing. A buckskin with a dorsal stripe does not automatically become a dun; they are two separate genes (though a horse can have both; more on that in a moment) and horses without the dun gene can be linebacked. Like cream, dun is dominant: a horse must have a dun parent in order to be dun itself. It’s not thought to manifest differently in its homozygous and heterozygous forms; research is still being done on that. Like champagne, it shows on both red-based and black-based horses. As yet there is no genetic test for dun but you can participate in a current study which is working towards that goal.

Read the rest of this entry »





Five memorable mares

29 04 2007

Tell a gelding, ask a stallion, discuss it with a mare

Link

Oh yes, you know what I’m talkin’ about! Here are some ladies you should meet.

1. Ruffian

Foaled in 1972, this niece of Secretariat is considered by many to be the greatest racing filly of the modern era, if not all time. She won all ten starts against fillies, but in a televised match race with Foolish Pleasure on July 6, 1975, both sesamoid bones in her right foreleg snapped. Her jockey, Jacinto Vasquez, tried to pull her up, but she ran on for another 50 yards, unwilling to give up the race. Attempts were made to save her but after waking from anesthesia Ruffian fractured the new cast causing greater damage and she was euthanized. Ruffian is buried near the finish line in the infield at Belmont Park. It has been said of her “The only race she ever lost was the race to save her life.” Read more | The Ruffian Breyer

Read the rest of this entry »








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