Short Takes

February 2015 Issue

Short Takes: February 2015

An international team of researchers has analyzed results of the cat genome ó the complete mapping of DNA and genes ó to arrive at a greater understanding of catsí domestication. They compared the genomes of domestic and wild cats and found that areas of the domestic cat genome differed significantly from their wild counterparts, including genes involved in the reward centers of the brain and the development of neurons that produce dopamine, which helps control the brainís pleasure centers. The researchers say that this suggests that the first wild cats bred for domestication were those responding to rewards such as food and stroking.

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