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Study on Dog Genome proves that Kelb tal-Fenek is not of ancient Egyptian origin
breeds Kelb tal-Fenek and Podenco Ibicenco are not as old as they were
thought to be. This fact results from a study on the dog genome ,
which was published in May 2004 by scientists from the Fred
Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle (USA).
samples out of 85 breeds of purebred dogs were investigated during this
study, which was carried out with support of the American Kennel Club (AKC). The scientists hope that the analysis will deliver important
results which might help fight against human diseases. As the institute
reports on its website, at least half of more than 300 inherited
canine disorders - including a variety of cancers - resemble specific
diseases of man.
are more than 400 breeds of dogs, and each is an isolated breeding
population," said Dr. Elaine Ostrander from the Fred
Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in an interview with the magazine
“Science”, which was published in May 21, 2004. "This allows
us to simplify a complicated genetic problem”.
interesting side-effect of this study is that it helps to disprove some
popular myths: For example, the Kelb tal-Fenek, as well as the Podenco
Ibicenco, were found not to be so old, as it has been supposed for a long
time. Because of their resemblance to dogs depicted on ancient Egyptian
tombs, they had been considered among the oldest of breeds. However, their
genes indicate they have been developed in more recent times, the
researchers said. Consequently, it can be said that the theory of the
Egyptian origin of this breeds definitely has no scientific foundation.
researchers identified two branches of the canine family tree which were the
earliest to diverge from the wolves. One branch includes the Asian breeds
Shar-Pei, Shiba Inu, Chow Chow and Akita; the other the seemingly diverse
breeds of African Basenji, Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, Afghan Hound
the majority of canines evolved into three other clusters of dog variants
as a result of human breeding activities - hunters, herders and guard dogs.
breeds show very similar genetics: Belgian Sheepdog and Belgian Tervuren,
which are registered as separate breeds within the AKC, are virtually
identical. Besides these two breeds, the study also showed five pairs of
breeds with very similar genetics: Alaskan Malamute and Siberian Husky,
Collie and Shetland Sheepdog, Greyhound and Whippet, Bernese Mountain Dog
and Greater Swiss Mountain Dog and Bull Mastiff and Mastiff. Only four
breeds failed to show consistent sets of genes in common. They were the
Perro de Presa Canario, German Shorthaired Pointer, Australian Shepherd