The Siberian Husky is a medium-sized working dog breed. The breed belongs to the Spitz genetic family. It is recognizable by its thickly furred double coat, erect triangular ears, and distinctive markings, and is smaller than a very similar-looking dog, the Alaskan Malamute.
The first of the dogs arrived in the Americas 12,000 years ago around the commencement of the Holocene period, however people and their dogs did not settle in the Arctic until the Paleo-Eskimo people 4,500 years ago and then the Thule people 1,000 years ago, with both emigrating from Siberia. The Siberian Husky was originally developed by the Chukchi people of the Chukchi Peninsula in eastern Siberia. They were brought to Nome, Alaska, in 1908 for sled-dog racing
Siberian Huskies originated in Northeast Asia where they are bred by the Chukchi people for sled-pulling, guarding and companionship. It is an active, energetic, resilient breed, whose ancestors lived in the extremely cold and harsh environment of the Siberian Arctic. William Goosak, a Russian fur trader, introduced them to Nome, Alaska during the Nome Gold Rush, initially as sled dogs.
The Siberian Husky is a beautiful dog breed with a thick coat that comes in a multitude of colors and markings. Their blue or multi-colored eyes and striking facial masks only add to the appeal of this breed, which originated in Siberia.
It is easy to see why many are drawn to the Siberian’s wolf-like looks, but be aware that this athletic, intelligent dog can be independent and challenging for first-time dog owners. Huskies also put the “H” in Houdini and need a fenced yard that is sunk in the ground to prevent escapes.
Why Siberian Husky have blue eyes—and why it might matter for understanding human diseases?
In an era when direct-to-consumer genome sequencing has been marred by ethical concerns, rightful skepticism, and Nazis’ fixation with using it to trace their ancestry (many have been disappointed by what they found), a new study may help salvage the field by turning to a previously untapped pool of subjects: dogs.
The research is the first of its kind to be conducted in nonhumans. It drew on data from more than 6,000 customer dogs in an effort to identify the genetic mutation responsible for blue eyes, a striking trait that’s relatively common in Siberian huskies but rare among other breeds in which it sometimes appears, like border collies and corgis. This meant sifting through the genomes of the dogs who did have blue eyes versus those who didn’t to see if any mutations were common to the former group and (mostly) absent from the latter. Owners conducted DNA tests from Embark and completed online surveys detailing their dogs’ breed and appearance, which included uploading “profile photos” for their pups; the scientists, from Embark and Cornell University, took care of the rest.
The data allowed them to identify a novel association: An allele on chromosome 18, carried by just 10 percent of dogs in the data set overall, was present in 100 percent of blue-eyed Siberian huskies and may be responsible for blue eyes in the breed. It seems likely that a duplication upstream of the gene ALX4, involved in mammalian eye development, is responsible—if so, breeders who can check for the variant in their dogs’ DNA will be better able to select for the trait.
Prospective blue-eyed puppies aside, the success of this first study, now in preprint, speaks to the approach’s potential: Being able to crowdsource genotypic and phenotypic information can lead to key discoveries regarding not just eye color but also more complex traits, behaviors, and overall health. Artificial selection in the form of careful breeding has also left dogs particularly well suited to this kind of analysis—from German shepherds to Chihuahuas, there’s a huge diversity of phenotypes on display, but genomewide divergence is pretty moderate except at the alleles underlying those differences, which is what this kind of testing can help identify.
There’s another reason this small study is exciting. Giving up our own data for such studies is something people are understandably wary of, but the stakes are considerably lower for our pets. And direct-to-consumer DNA studies in other animals could yield worthwhile results—for both them and us. A 2005 paper published in Briefings in Functional Genomics described dogs as “an unrivaled model for the study of human disease,” and regions of the canine genome have already been causally linked to more than 70 Mendelian diseases—heritable disorders caused by a single mutation as opposed to a more complex combination of genes—many of which have human analogs. And since there’s less sequence divergence between humans and dogs than humans and mice (and they’ve cohabitated with us since the hunter-gatherer days), their genomes may be able to reveal things that the murine model can’t. A recent study found that mice first colonized human settlements about 15,000 years ago, but our relationship with dogs may go back more than twice as far. Having shared our environment for so long—and seen us through some key transitions in the process—might put dogs in a unique position to tell us about ourselves.
That’s not to say you should take a genetic testing company’s claims about what your dog’s genes mean for his health without a grain (or more than a grain) of salt. Even if a region of the genome is associated with heritable diseases, that doesn’t necessarily mean a dog or its offspring are guaranteed to have it—we just don’t know enough yet to justify the sweeping, context-less claims many kits are notorious for making. If anything, the benefit of individual testing is that it provides the data for the larger-scale studies that can begin to lay the groundwork for meaningful genome analysis. If you want to sequence your dog’s genome, just remember the result will probably be more meaningful to science than to your ability to care for your pet.
The husky is a breed of super charismatic dogs.
They are usually very lively, athletic, agile and loving to everyone, reports Klan Kosova. People who own this beautiful dog such as a husky have definitely made the right choice.
Husky dogs are the best lifeguards in your garden or even when you need help. But above all, Husky dogs are the most loyal and smart dogs you will ever encounter, reports Klan Kosova.
The latter serve people as the purpose of their lives, and here you can learn some of the unique pearls of wisdom from these truly amazing creatures.