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DNA Testing

Since enforcement of DNA testing began at one Brooklyn apartment in May, seven matches have been made, and fines of $250 attached to each. One resident has been found in violation twice. But over all the program has proved to be a significant deterrent. There’s a shaming aspect, no question, and just knowing that the board will know who you are and that they’re not going to be sympathetic about why it happened, well that’s a lot.

How it works at one company…
PooPrints is an effective waste management program, matching un-scooped waste to the canine offender through DNA. Properties report up to a 95% reduction in waste

Each resident dog is registered in BioPet Laboratory’s patented DNA World Pet Registry by a simple cheek swab. When un-scooped waste is found, a small sample is collected and submitted to our lab for analysis and comparison to the dogs in the database. Results are emailed to property management in two weeks.

A match is only reported when the canine and waste samples match on every available point with no discrepancies.

Genetically-engineered, Extra-muscular Dogs Created By Chinese Scientists

Chinese scientists have created genetically-engineered, extra-muscular dogs, after editing the genes of the animals for the first time. The scientists create beagles that have double the amount of muscle mass by deleting a certain gene, reports the MIT Technology Review. The mutant dogs have “more muscles and are expected to have stronger running ability, which is good for hunting, police (military) applications”, Liangxue Lai, one of the researchers on the project, told the magazine.

Now the team hope to go on to create other modified dogs, including those that are engineered to have human diseases like muscular dystrophy or Parkinson’s. Since dogs’ anatomy is similar to those of humans’, intentionally creating dogs with certain human genetic traits could allow scientists to further understand how they occur.

To create the dogs, researchers edit out the myostatin gene. If that is inhibited, animals can gain significantly more muscle mass and become much stronger than usual. Recent developments in genome editing allow scientists to edit out or change genes relatively easily. The scientists said that the muscular dogs were mostly a proof of concept, and that they hope to go on to create more edited dogs.

The gene was found in 1997, when geneticists created a strain of mice that lacked it, leading the extra-muscular mice to be known as “knockout mice” or “mighty mice”.

Cats ARE Neurotic

They are well loved for their immaculate fluffy coats and unique personalities but new research suggests cats do have a much darker side. A study carried out between the University of Edinburgh and Bronx Zoo compared our beloved domestic cat with its wilder relatives.

Compared with the snow leopard, the Scottish wildcat and the African lion, researchers found these larger predators shared similar characteristics of aggression and neurotic behavior to domestic cats. Dominance, impulsiveness and neurotic behavior are the most common trait shared between the domestic cat and the wild cat.

The researchers used a testing method known as the ‘Big Five’ personality test: Openness to Experience, Extraversion/Introversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Neuroticism. A total of 100 cats, from two different shelters in Scotland were used in the experiment, whilst the other animals were examined from zoos and animal sanctuaries in the UK and USA.

“They’re cute and furry and cuddly, but we need to remember when we have cats as pets, we are inviting little predators into our house,” psychologist Dr. Max Wachtel told 9NEWS. “For a lot of people, it is worth it. Cats can be fantastic, sweet companions. Until they turn on you.”

Only their size prevents the cat from being able to unleash its full predatory qualities.

“It is good to understand the personality characteristics of our pets. Different cats have different personalities. But as a species, there are a lot of commonalities,” Dr Wachtel said.


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