The Mysterious History of Dogs

I saw a really interesting post on Reddit today about a pretty significant study being done exploring the relationships of canine genetic code over time.

I don’t pretend to understand the incredibly scientific aspects of the study, but the gist I get is when reverse engineering the relatiohips between the genetic code between a huge sample of ‘known breeds’ some deep inital categories were formed (called Clades), these represent the main historical genetic group of the dog and ones they share the most genetic material with over the long haul.

However, to understand fully the makeup of the dogs we know today, the study also found statitistical significance in current events, mainly the flourshing of cross-breeding which occured after the industrial revolution ushered in a profoundly different level of globalization. Much of the longstanding genitic code has been either shared within the last couple hundred years, and presumable desirable traits found in complete different lineages, in the forms of solid genetic blocks, which they call haplotypes: genetic strings of enough statistical signficance to indicate a match.

This has important implications for disease managment, and prevention as well as a neat historical study. (See the part of the article regarding Collie Eye Anomoly for an example of how this might be interpreted. I thought this information was great but perhaps a little difficult to access via the study materials, so I threw together a quick Power BI report to let you explore the relationships of any dog breed you’re interested in.

Give the chart a minute to work after clicking on items, it’s a fairly large cross-referenced dataset, when ALL the data is present you see this grey blob, from the sheer number of relationships in the study. Once you whittle it down a bit it becomes much clearer. The score is the rounded whole number in millions from the study, I’m not sure if they’re genes, chromosones or what, but the bigger the number the stronger the genetic relationship between the breeds.

Dog Breed Genetic Lineage Relationships:

Here’s a direct link to the study if you’d like to read more:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5492993/

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