Weekly News Roundup 2/26 to 3/4


New features of a gene defect that affects muzzle length and caudal vertebrae in dogs

A recent genetic study at the University of Helsinki provides new information on the occurrence of a dishevelled segment polarity protein 2 (DVL2) gene defect associated with a “screw tail” and its relevance to canine constitution and health. The variant was found in several bulldog and pit bull–type breeds, and it was shown to result in caudal vertebral anomalies and shortening of the muzzle. The DVL2 variant may also affect the development of the heart. . . . more

How did dogs get to the Americas? An ancient bone fragment holds clues

The history of dogs has been intertwined, since ancient times, with that of the humans who domesticated them. But how far back does that history go in the Americas, and which route did dogs use to enter this part of the world? A new study provides insight into these questions. The research reports that a bone fragment found in southeast Alaska belongs to a dog who lived in the region about 10,150 years ago. Scientists say the remains—a piece of a femur—represent the oldest confirmed remains of a domestic dog in the Americas. DNA from the bone fragment holds clues about early canine history in this part of the world. . . . more

Federal lawmakers introduce bill to protect animals during disasters

Last month, US Representatives Dina Titus (D-Nevada) and Pete King (R-New York) introduced the Providing Responsible Emergency Plans for Animals at Risk of Emerging Disasters (PREPARED) Act. This new bill requires any United States Department of Agriculture–regulated business that profits off animals—such as zoos, commercial animal dealers, and research facilities—to have contingency plans in place to evacuate and keep animals safe in emergency or disaster situations. This bipartisan bill requires each facility to identify emergencies that are likely to occur at their location. . . . more

Scholarship expands access to veterinary profession

The University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine announced a new $500,000 scholarship to help advance diversity within the veterinary profession. The Hadley Family Diversifying Opportunity in Veterinary Education Scholarship is generously provided by Stephen Hadley, DVM, MS, and his family. The scholarship will be granted to students from underrepresented populations and those who have shown a commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion. . . . more

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