Monday, June 18, 2007

Breeder Harboring Whippets of Mass Destruction?

FORT MOTT STATE PARK, New Jersey: When mutant, muscle-bound puppies started showing up in litters of champion racing whippets, the breeders of the normally sleek dogs invited scientists to take DNA samples at race meets here and across the United States. They hoped to find a genetic cause for the condition and a way to purge it from the breed.

It worked. "Bully whippets," as the heavyset dogs are known, turn out to have a genetic mutation that enhances muscle development. And breeders may not want to eliminate the "bully" gene after all. The scientists found that the same mutation that pumps up some whippets makes others among the fastest dogs on the track. Read More