Dogs - A Great Model to Understand The Causes of Human Diseases

Wag News, last updated 17th, Nov 2014, Neha Manchanda

Dog epigenome

In the latest edition of Journal of Cancer Research, scientists and researchers have concluded that our canine friends may be a great model to understand the causes of several human diseases, especially cancer.

Researchers, psychologists, anthropologists, genetic and molecular biologists have often put greater emphasis on the bond that humans and dogs share and have dated it back to ancient times. Recently they were able to characterise the epigenome of a dog and transfer the results to human cancer to understand the changes that take place especially in the appearance of the tumours.

Researchers on the study also mentioned that just like humans, dogs are highly susceptible to cancer and is one of the common reasons of fatalities amongst dogs. In a statement released by Manel Esteller, Director of the programme for Epigenetics and Cancer Biology at Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute, he has mentioned that the epigenome level of each nucleotide of DNA cells from a Cocker Spaniel have been characterised. As a part of the study, the acquired canine cells were induced morphological change similar to that of cancer progression which resulted in significant alterations called epigenetic lesions. When the same dog genes were looked in human breast cancer, the epigenetic lesions  occurred in the same regions of the DNA. 

Manel Estellar mentioned that post the study he is confident that the existence of the common epigenetic mechanisms in dogs and humans have be evolutionarily conserved to change the shape and consistency of our cells and tissues. The study is considered a groundbreaking one to find cure for human cancer.

Image and News Source: Financial Express

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