Photographer Robert Clark captures the intricate detail of the Staffordshire treasure in this gallery. It's an unusually balmy mid-February afternoon in New York City, but the lobby of the Hotel Pennsylvania is teeming with fur coats.
The wearers are attendees of what is undoubtedly the world's elite canine mixer, one that takes place each year on the eve of the Westminster Kennel Club dog show. The breeders gave no thought, of course, to the fact that while coaxing such weird new dogs into existence, they were also tinkering with the genes that determine canine anatomy in the first place­. Media reports about the gene for red hair, alcoholism, or breast cancer give the false impression that most traits are governed by just one or a few genes. Thousands of years later, breeders would seize on that diverse raw material when they began creating modern breeds. This revelation has implications the scientists are just beginning to unravel—most important, for the understanding of genetic disorders in humans. In short, while the Victorian breeders were crafting dogs to suit their tastes, they were also creating genetically isolated populations, little knowing how useful they might be to scientists in the future.
Evolution shaped genes in humans and dogs that correspond to diet, behavior, and disease, according to a new study.
Researchers from the University of Chicago and several international institutions found that several groups of genes in humans and dogsa€”including those related to diet and digestion, neurological processes, and diseasea€”have been evolving in parallel for thousands of years. This parallel evolution was likely driven by the shared environments of humans and dogs, wrote the authors in a study published May 14 in the journal Nature Communications.
For example, living in crowded conditions with humans may have conferred an advantage on less aggressive dogs, leading to more submissive canines and eventually to the pets whose puppy-dog eyes gaze at us with unconditional affection. The study authors suggest that dogs were domesticated 32,000 years ago; that's much earlier than current estimates, which place domestication at around 15,000 to 16,000 years ago.
The study authors also proposed that dog domestication originated in Southeast Asia, rather than the Middle East, as others have suggested. The scientists involved in the study sequenced the genomes of four gray wolves from Russia and China, three Chinese street dogs, and three domesticated breedsa€”including a German shepherd, a Belgian malinois, and a Tibetan mastiff.
They were then able to figure out which genes were associated with domestication and how far back that shift may have occurred.
Southeastern Asia street dogs, including the Chinese street dogs in the study, may be an evolutionary bridge between wolves and purebred dogs due to their greater genetic diversity when compared with other street dogs from around the world, Zhai explained. When Zhai and colleagues took their canine sequences and compared them with the human genome, the team found that sequences for things such as the transport of neurotransmitters like serotonin, cholesterol processing, and cancer have been selected for in both humans and dogs.
Though selection in the same gene in two different species, known as convergent evolution, is rare in nature, said Zhai, their results weren't too surprising. In addition to sharing genes that deal with diet and behavior, dogs and humans also share diseases, including obesity, obsessive-compulsive disorder, epilepsy, and some cancers including breast cancer, wrote Ya-ping Zhang, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Kunming (map), in an email. The cancer-related genes the research team found evolving together in both dogs and humans could be the result of processes like this, said Zhai.
But he cautioned that comparing human and canine genomes can be tricky, adding that the evaluation of canine sequences from other places in addition to China and Russia would have helped in the dating of domestication and in establishing its location. Furthermore, Wayne said, without further comparisons between humans and other domestic animals like goats or horses, it's hard to know whether the parallel evolution in the genomes of humans and dogs is unique or not. Even so, he added, the study adds another chapter to the story of dog domesticationa€”a story far from over.
Out in front of America’s troops, combat canines and their handlers lead the way onto the most dangerous battlefields on Earth. In Afghanistan a helicopter transports an IED-detecting Belgian Malinois named Oopey, sitting next to his handler, Air Force Staff Sgt.
A black Lab named Eli comforts Kathy Rusk at the Texas gravesite of her son, Marine Lance Cpl. Eliana and Jose Armenta relax with their Boston terriers, Oreo and Sassy, and their German shepherd, Zenit. Go behind-the-scenes with our storytellers and join conversations about photography, art, and journalism. France—On a bright summer morning a captive-bred male harvest mouse perches acrobatically in an Alsace wheat field.
OregonOffshore lies a fault that in centuries past has triggered large earthquakes—and tsunamis that swamped the coast.

The Baiterek, towering over Astana's central promenade, flares green against a dappled evening sky. Originally bred as guard dogs, Tibetan mastiffs like Midas, a Westminster finalist from Lubbock, Texas, can top 150 pounds. Afghanistan—On drought-pocked earth near Marjah, in the restive Helmand Province, a lone shepherd leads his sheep through a mud wall's gap. Miniature lakes reflect the sky in White Pocket, one of the geological spectacles on the Paria Plateau. To delete this file, click the file name with your mouse, then right-click and scroll down the menu to the "delete" option.
To remove the photo permanently from the desktop, locate the photo on the hard drive and drag it to the trash.
Whatever your interest, you'll be entertained and educated with our collection of best-selling DVDs. Chronicling trends in entertainment, pop culture, politics, the arts, and the uncategorized et cetera. Watch live video and replay of Donald Trump’s speech at the rally in Rome, New York at Griffiss International Airport on Tuesday, April 12, 2016. Watch live video and replay of Donald Trump’s speech at the rally in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at the David L. Tomorrow the nation's top dogs from 173 breeds will compete for glory across the street at Madison Square Garden.
For reasons both practical and whimsical, man's best friend has been artificially evolved into the most diverse animal on the planet—a staggering achievement, given that most of the 350 to 400 dog breeds in existence have been around for only a couple hundred years.
Scientists since have assumed that underneath the morphological diversity of dogs lay an equivalent amount of genetic diversity. In a project called CanMap, a collaboration among Cornell University, UCLA, and the National Institutes of Health, researchers gathered DNA from more than 900 dogs representing 80 breeds, as well as from wild canids such as gray wolves and coyotes.
Already, more than a hundred dog diseases have been mapped to mutations in particular genes, many of them with human counterparts.
The possibilities are especially abundant for cancer, certain types of which can show up as often as 60 percent of the time in some dog breeds but only once in every 10,000 humans.
Only a single mutant behavioral gene has been identified to date: the dog version of the gene for obsessive-compulsive disorder in humans, which can cause Doberman pinschers to obsessively suck on their fur to the point of bleeding. Dogs snuggle up to us at night, gambol by our side during daily walks, and flop adoringly at our feet when we crash on our couches. Although he does acknowledge that the timing of a split between wolves and dogs has varied widelya€”ranging between 6,000 and 120,000 years ago. The team also looked at the dog genes selected for during domestication and compared them with human genes. Terry Young and his German shepherd, Wero, search for explosives at a checkpoint in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Jason Cartwright bonds with his Labrador retriever, Isaac, during a mission to disrupt a Taliban supply route.
Handlers care for their dogs’ every need, learning canine CPR as well as how to spot canine post-traumatic stress disorder, which afflicts some 5 percent of deployed dogs. Thomas Sager carries the body of Dinomt, a dog killed by an IED while on patrol in Kandahar.
A retired Marine dog handler, Jose lost his legs in an IED blast while on patrol with Zenit.
Many former military dogs are put up for adoption, with federal agencies, local law enforcement, and former handlers given priority. These houses at Cannon Beach sit just inside an evacuation zone based on a worst-case scenario. Flash floods carved this passage through petrified sand dunes, exposing the iron-rich bands. Intended as a symbol of the new capital, the 318-foot monument evokes a giant tree with a golden egg in its branches.
The centuries of breeding that produced such diversity in dogs also created isolated genetic populations that are helping scientists understand human diseases. They are highly protective of their owners—an impulse that, along with most other dog behaviors, remains a genetic mystery.

Scenes of pastoral grace persist in this agriculturally intensive country, despite strife, insecurity, and dire food shortages. Over the eons, groundwater has leached the color out of the Navajo sandstone here, and the weather has broken its surface into irregular polygons. Threading the hem of the Paria Plateau, Highway 89A partly traces a route followed by 18th-century Franciscan explorers, and by Mormons on their way to St. The GOP Presidential front-runner spoke out about the Colorado delegate system, which saw contender Sen. Bernie Sanders’ speech at the rally in Buffalo, New York at the University of Bufallo on Monday, April 11, 2016. But today is more akin to a four-legged meet-and-greet, as owners shuffle through the check-in line at the competition's official lodgings.
The breeders fast-forwarded the normal pace of evolution by combining traits from disparate dogs and accentuating them by breeding those offspring with the largest hints of the desired attributes. A recent explosion in canine genomic research, however, has led to a surprising, and opposite, conclusion: The vast mosaic of dog shapes, colors, and sizes is decided largely by changes in a mere handful of gene regions.
They found that body size, hair length, fur type, nose shape, ear positioning, coat color, and the other traits that together define a breed's appearance are controlled by somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 genetic switches. In nature, a physical trait or disease state is usually the product of a complex interaction of many genes, each one making a fractional contribution. Canines were the earliest domesticated animal, a process that started somewhere between 20,000 and 15,000 years ago, most likely when gray wolves began scavenging around human settlements. They also favored novelty, since the more distinct a line of dogs appeared, the more likely it was to garner official recognition as a new breed. Those diseases may have a whole array of mutations leading to a risk of disease in dogs, as they do in us. More common characteristics such as loyalty, tenaciousness, or the instinct to herd clearly have genetic underpinnings. Dogs bred at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, the military’s primary canine facility, are given names that begin with a double letter. As the world's coasts get more crowded, geologists are finding that tsunamis occur more often than once thought. In the Kazakh myth of Samruk, a sacred bird lays a golden egg in the branches of a poplar each year. Ted Cruz receive 34 delegates, as well as the Boston Globe’s fake front page and denunciation of his candidacy, the upcoming New York Primary and more. The difference between the dachshund's diminutive body and the Rottweiler's massive one hangs on the sequence of a single gene. The difference between floppy and erect ears is determined by a single gene region in canine chromosome 10, or CFA10. Dog experts differ on how active a role humans played in the next step, but eventually the relationship became a mutual one, as we began employing dogs for hunting, guarding, and companionship. Such artificial selection tended to favor single genes with a large impact, allowing traits to be fixed more rapidly than groups of smaller-impact genes ever could.
But they can also be affected by factors ranging from a dog's nutrition to the presence of children in the house, making them difficult to quantify rigorously enough to study. A pair of muscled Rhodesian ridgebacks, with matching leather leashes, pause for a brief hello with a fluffy Pyrenean shepherd.
Nevertheless, "we've probably got as good a shot, if not better, of understanding behavior in dogs over other animals," says Stanford's Bustamante. Outside the gift shop a Tibetan mastiff with paws the size of human hands goes nose to nose with a snuffling pug.
A long and sturdy tail helped hunters to retrieve it from an animal's lair, badger in its mouth. But a different gene was the culprit in schnauzers than in poodles, giving researchers some specific leads for where to start looking in humans.
Meanwhile a recent study of a rare type of epilepsy in dachshunds found what appears to be a unique genetic signature, which could shed new light on the disorder in us as well.

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