Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dogs Originated in Middle East?

A new study suggests that dogs originated in Middle East, descended from a relative of their Grey Wolves population. The study looked at the genetic code of about 900 dogs from 85 different breeds and compared it to 200 different types of Grey Wolves.

"Husky, shar pei, terrier or mutt, today's dogs descended from wolves that probably lived in the Middle East, not Europe or Asia as many thought, according to a study published Wednesday in the British science journal Nature.

"Dogs seem to share more genetic similarity with Middle Eastern grey wolves than any other wolf population worldwide," said one of its authors, Robert Wayne, a professor of evolutionary biology at the University of California in Los Angeles.

The researchers sequenced the genetic code from more than 900 dogs from 85 breeds and 200 wild grey wolves, including wolves in North America, Europe, the Middle East and East Asia.

They analysed more than 48,000 single genetic markers, seeking areas of comparison that would enable them to build a canine family tree.

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