Monthly Archives

September 2015

Dr. Diane Genereux joins the Karlsson lab!

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Jesse keenly observes dog behavior at the Somerville Dog Festival

Dr. Diane Genereux has joined the Karlsson Lab, doubling the postdoc ranks! Diane has an impressive research background in evolution, epigenetics, and mathematical modeling and is now delving into the complexity of bioinformatics. While not exploring the genetics of cholera susceptibility, she acts as lab photographer – and captured some great photos of the Darwin’s Dogs launch in Somerville, MA in September.

Pawprints of evolution

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Darwin's DogsOur new dog genetics project is launching on Sunday, September 13 at the Somerville Dog Festival. Do you own a dog? We need your help!

You can visit our booth between 10 am and 3 pm on Sunday at Trum field in Somerville, Massachusetts. We’ll be enrolling dogs, and handing out frisbees and bandannas.

The Somerville Dog Festival is a fun (and free!) event for dogs and people. This year (at 1 pm) they will try to break a World Record.

If you can’t make it to Somerville, don’t worry! You can also join the Darwin’s Dogs pack online.

There is no cost to you. We’ll ask you to tell us about your dog’s behavior and personality using shortSurvival of furriest questionnaires on our website, and then send you an easy-to-use kit to collect a saliva sample from your dog. Using the saliva samples from many dogs, we will look for differences in DNA connected to particular personality traits or behaviors.

We want to understand how dog DNA changed as dogs went from living in the wild to being part of our families. If we can understand how genetic changes can lead to behavior differences — even for normal behaviors — we hope to get new insight into psychiatric and neurological diseases in dogs and people.