Category Archives: Dog News

Students around the globe collect quality, eye-opening research data on mammals

Children all over the world are learning science by collecting data and running experiments in their classroom. But what if the data they collected during their school day could be used to help scientists? Turns out, it can. Researchers at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and NC State University, running a large-scale camera-trap study called eMammal, recently enlisted the help of K-12 students from 28 schools and four countries — the United States, India, Mexico […]

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Smelling the forest not the trees: Why animals are better at sniffing complex smells

Animals are much better at smelling a complex “soup” of odorants rather than a single pure ingredient, a new study by the University of Sussex has revealed. Complex mixed odorants are detected more quickly and more reliably by olfactory receptors and can be identified over a wider concentration range than pure odorants, according to research led by Professor Thomas Nowotny and his PhD student Ho Ka Chan. The new findings, published today in PLoS Computational Biology, shed […]

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The taming of the dog, cow, horse, pig and rabbit

Research at the Earlham Institute into one of the ‘genetic orchestra conductors’, microRNAs, sheds light on our selectively guided evolution of domestic pets and farmyard animals such as dogs and cows. What does a cow, a horse, a pig, a rabbit and a dog have in common, and how similar or dissimilar are their genetic conductors? They’re all animals domesticated by humans — and the results have been quite incredible. Over just a few thousand years of […]

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Dogs know when they don’t know

Researchers at the DogStudies lab at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History have shown that dogs possess some “metacognitive” abilities — specifically, they are aware of when they do not have enough information to solve a problem and will actively seek more information, similarly to primates. To investigate this, the researchers created a test in which dogs had to find a reward — a toy or food — behind one of two fences. […]

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Geneticist solves long-standing finch beak mystery

Bridgett vonHoldt is best known for her work with dogs and wolves, so she was surprised when a bird biologist pulled her aside and said, “I really think you can help me solve this problem.” So she turned to a mystery he’d been wrestling with for more than 20 years. “I love a good challenge and especially working on new questions!” said vonHoldt, an assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Princeton. “I was presented with […]

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Dogs detect malaria by sniffing socks worn by African children

As the global battle against malaria stalls, scientists may be adding a novel tool to the fight: sniffer dogs. In recent tests trained sniffer dogs successfully diagnosed malaria infections simply by sniffing samples from socks worn briefly by children from a malaria endemic area of West Africa, according to a new study presented today at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) Annual Meeting. “People with malaria parasites generate distinct odors on their skin and […]

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Yes, your pet can tell time

Are you taking your time when feeding your pet? Fluffy and Fido are on to you — and they can tell when you are dawdling. A new study from Northwestern University has found some of the clearest evidence yet that animals can judge time. By examining the brain’s medial entorhinal cortex, the researchers discovered a previously unknown set of neurons that turn on like a clock when an animal is waiting. “Does your dog know that it […]

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A dog’s color could impact longevity, increase health issues

New research led by the University of Sydney has revealed the life expectancy of chocolate Labradors is significantly lower than their black and yellow counterparts. The study of more than 33,000 United Kingdom-based Labrador retrievers of all colours shows chocolate Labradors also have a higher incidence of ear infections and skin disease. Its findings were published in the open access journal Canine Genetics and Epidemiology today. Part of the University’s VetCompass™ Programme, which collects and analyses electronic […]

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Scientists chase mystery of how dogs process words

When some dogs hear their owners say “squirrel,” they perk up, become agitated. They may even run to a window and look out of it. But what does the word mean to the dog? Does it mean, “Pay attention, something is happening?” Or does the dog actually picture a small, bushy-tailed rodent in its mind? Frontiers in Neuroscience published one of the first studies using brain imaging to probe how our canine companions process words they have […]

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Why huskies have blue eyes

DNA testing of more than 6,000 dogs has revealed that a duplication on canine chromosome 18 is strongly associated with blue eyes in Siberian Huskies, according to a study published October 4, 2018, in the open-access journal PLOS Genetics by Adam Boyko and Aaron Sams of Embark Veterinary, Inc., and colleagues. Embark is a dog DNA startup company headquartered in Boston, MA, and Ithaca, NY, and research partner of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. According […]

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