The folks at PNAS have been biting their nails to the quick, anxiously awaiting the release of their groundbreaking news- Mutts are more genetically diverse than purebreds! The article had been under embargo until yesterday, forcing the researchers and journal editors to keep the valuable information under wraps. “I had a really hard time not telling my wife,” admitted one of the journal editors, “I almost slipped up two times!”
As a precaution to prevent leaks to the media, the authors of the study have spent the last 10 days sequestered at an undisclosed hotel. Insider reports said they enjoyed the pool and the room service, but wondered why they weren’t allowed to rent ‘movies’.
When finally the day came, the press release rolled out and the authors returned to their homes amid a flurry of scientific admiration.
According to the study findings, dogs sampled from 318 villages in Egypt, Uganda, and Namibia had significantly different genetic diversity than non-native and mixed breed dogs, suggesting they are genetically distinct from other dog breeds. The results have thrown a long-accepted paradigm on its head. With the diversity of dogs that humans have been able to create through careful inbreeding, it has always been accepted that purebreds must be more genetically diverse than mutts.
Allow me to illustrate…
African village dog
I’m so diverse it hurts
African village dog
Go ahead. Just admit you envy my family jewels and my genetically diverse junk.
Now, if you ask me, it doesn’t take a fancy geneticist to figure out which group is more genetically diverse! I’m definitely not sold on these results.
In all probability, the release of these findings will cause a shock-wave through the scientific community and a spike in the number of grant applications for canine genetic studies. Or else, it will be the source of endless amusement and a cause for the authors to be demoted to technicians. Let’s hope we get our real answer soon.
OK, well in truth (as one of our readers busted me on), the real point of the article was to examine genetic diversity in order to determine if the domestic dogs found in Africa originally came from Eurasia. It’s a cool paper on a topic I actually love- domestication. And all names were omitted to protect the innocent.