Taking time for a cat map.
Scientists have already mapped the human and canine genomes, or
genetic makeup. Now, researchers at Agencourt Bioscience Corporation in
Beverly, Mass., are focusing on felines, and it is Cinnamon's turn
to donate a brood sample. Cinnamon comes from a carefully bred family,
so scientists will know exactly what they are getting when they took at
her DNA. Humans and cats alike will benefit from the genome map, which
will probably be completed later this year. There are more than 250
genetic diseases that afflict cats, and the genome map may lead to
prevention and treatment of diseases such as feline leukemia. Cats also
inherit diseases like diabetes and lupus in exactly the same way that
humans do. The cat genome will provide a medical model for studying
these and other human diseases, such as AIDS and various cancers.