Cat Health Network Sponsors Genomics Research

The Cat Health Network approved several research initiatives in the field of feline genomics.

Posted: September 21, 2011, 3 a.m. EDT

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Maine Coon cat
Mapping the cat genome can help cat health.
Cat Health Network researchers each received samples of feline single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which are small variations from the common feline DNA sequence that can be used as markers to track down genes responsible for genetic cat disease, the network said. The SNPs were originally donated to Cat Health Network co-founder Morris Animal Foundation by Hill Pet Nutrition of Topeka, Kan., and are valued at about $1 million.

“Our ability to use genomics in improving cat health is a revolutionary step that we believe will reveal new insights about fighting cat disease and improving overall cat health,” said Dr. Wayne Jensen, chief scientific officer of the Morris Animal Foundation.

The investigators and their research projects, include:
•    Dr. Stephen O’Brien, National Cancer Institute, “Dense Physical Linkage Map Using SNP Array for Rigorous Assembly of the Feline Genome Sequence;”

•    Dr. Tosso Leeb, University of Bern, Switzerland, “Genetic Analysis of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy in Maine Coon Cats;” and “Genetic Analysis of Polycystic Kidney Disease in Maine Coon Cats;”

•    Dr. Leslie Lyons, University of California-Davis, “Genome-wide Association Studies of Brachycephaly in Domestic Cats,” “Construction of a High-Resolution Map for Assisting Cat Genome Sequence Assembly,” “Genome-wide Association Study for Hypokalemic Polymyopathy in Burmese Cats,” and “Genome-wide Association Studies for Progressive Retinal Atrophies in Cats;”

•    Dr. Robert Grahn, University of California-Davis, “Genome-wide Association Study for Congenital Muscular Dystrophy in Sphynx and Devon Rex Cats;”

•    Dr. Bianca Hasse, University of Sydney, Australia, “Bodyweight: Investigation of Genetic Aspects in an Experimental Cat Population;”

•    Dr. Kathryn Meurs, Washington State University, “Genome Wide Association of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy in the Sphynx Cat;”

•    Dr. Niels C. Pedersen, University of California-Davis, “Genetic susceptibility to Feline Infectious Peritonitis.”

The Cat Health Network was formed by the Morris Animal Foundation, the Winn Feline Foundation, the American Association of Feline Practitioners and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation to improve feline health and welfare through funding of targeted health studies.
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Reader Comments

karen    cheektowaga, NY

10/16/2011 11:21:26 AM

Interesting !!!

Samantha    Mission, BC

9/25/2011 8:51:58 PM

Great! Glad to see that there is a lot of research going into cat health. It always seemed like a lot of funding went to research for dogs and cats didn't get much.

Jo Ann    Lodgepole, NE

9/22/2011 7:27:32 PM

Thanks to the donors for their financial support, and to the Researchers for their dedication!

Karen    CBS, NL

9/22/2011 9:25:57 AM

I'm glad there are still alot of doctors out there that are working on ways to solve cat diseases. good to hear. thanks.

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