Genetics Less than a minute

What a Cat’s Genome Means to Us; Plus, a New Study on Genes and Digestive Conditions

By Rhonda Reinhart featured image Courtesy Noreen Marchand, National Human Genome Research Institute

Researchers sequence cat genome. So what?: Aside from helping us understand feline evolution, the recent full sequencing of the cat genome could also teach us about human disease. Cats and humans suffer from many of the same conditions, including AIDS and leukemia, and scientists hope this new genetic information — courtesy of three cats named Boris, Cinnamon, and Sylvester — could help explain why kitties and humans develop certain diseases.

New study will look at the genetics of inflammatory bowel disease: A research collaboration between 23andMe and Pfizer will examine the role genetics and environment play in IBD, including why the condition develops and how it progresses. The goal is to enlist 10,000 participants, and study leaders promise to keep them updated on the status of the research.