posted on 01/29/2003 8:38:43 AM PST
... a new way to look at how genetic change affects development.
posted on 01/29/2003 8:40:57 AM PST
Interesting. Thanks. I love new ways of looking at things.
Belyaev linked coat spots to the gene for a molecule called L-dopa. L-dopa is a building block for melanin, the pigment molecule. L-dopa is also necessary for the production of adrenaline, the hormone that turns on our flight-or-fight response. If activation of the L-dopa gene was delayed, the animal would have less melanin and less adrenaline. With less melanin, there would be white patches on the animal's coat. Less adrenaline would dampen the urge to fight or flee.
Some folks were attempting to cite these studies as proof of evolution when they clearly just prove the existence of recessive genetic traits.
posted on 01/29/2003 9:04:37 AM PST
Lots of interesting stuff here. But I'm dubious about their conclusions re the chimp vs. dog picking up on "human cues" about the cup of food. It's not clear that human cues had anything to do with the dogs' success. Dogs have a sense of smell that is many, many times keener than that of chimps (ever heard of a bomb-sniffing chimp?), and would have little need for human cues to locate a cup of food in the same room, even if it's in a sealed container. Assuming they were well-trained dogs, I'll bet the only role of the human cues was to convince the dogs that they were allowed to go chow down the food, the existence and precise location of which they had known from the second they were brought into the garage. Silly humans, fooled by the doggies :)
Interesting article. I've read some theories that domestic dogs have, in effect, arrested development, and exhibit adolescent behavior through their adult life. Wolf cubs will play and romp, but they soon get over it as they go about the business of being grown-up preditors. Domestic dogs, however, will "play" into their old age, no doubt because such behavior is reinforced by humans who find it appealing, and because dogs exhibiting such behavior are more likely to be bred.
I used to have a friend who was attempting to breed friendly rats. Her procedure was to pick the friendliest out of each litter, and breed them. The rest she got rid of (she told me she had a friend who raised snakes). The surprising thing was that the friendly rats had spotted coats, just like the friendly foxes. She had no detailed explanation, other than that the friendliness trait was somehow linked to fur color.
I enjoyed your post! Thank you.
posted on 01/29/2003 10:07:53 AM PST
To: balrog666; Condorman; *crevo_list; donh; general_re; Godel; Gumlegs; jennyp; longshadow; ...
posted on 01/29/2003 10:28:21 AM PST
(Put tag line here =>)
Fennec foxes make good pets, if raised from birth.
I guess this would explain why the nords, with their red and blond hair, and their blue and green eyes, have always been among the most calm and domestic of races.
Interesting post - thanks.
posted on 01/29/2003 10:49:32 AM PST
posted on 01/29/2003 11:53:11 AM PST
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