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6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
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Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
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ScienceShot: Is Your Dog a Zen Master?
17 January 2012 5:00 pm
As every dog owner knows, teaching Fido to lie down and be calm can be a giant hurdle in obedience class. Now, it turns out that at least among German Shepherds, genetics play a big role in whether your pet earns a gold star. Researchers gave 104 of the dogs the lie-down-and-be-calm test, and three other behavioral exams, all designed to assess the dogs' ability to control their impulses. Later, the scientists compared the canines' DNA, looking specifically at a gene that is connected to the production of dopamine and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters are involved in our emotional responses and ability to focus, and have been implicated in humans with attention deficit disorder. The 37 German Shepherds with a shortened version of the gene had the most trouble controlling their impulsive behaviors, regardless of their sex, age, or training. But the dogs with long versions of the gene, such as the one in the photo, passed the impulse-tests with the calm of Zen master. The study, reported in the current issue of PLoS ONE, may not only help breeders identify hyperactive dogs, but could prove useful in studies of ADHD in humans.
See more ScienceShots.