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Golden retrievers carry risk haplotypes predisposing to two different cancers.

Dogs are not only “man's best friend” for their loyalty, they are also the geneticist’s best friend. The artificial breed structure has created genetically isolated groups of dogs, with differential predisposition to diseases they share with us. This facilitates mapping of diseases relevant also to humans. Golden retrievers are predisposed to various cancers, including B-cell lymphoma and hemangiosarcoma. The genetic risk factors for these diseases in humans are still being elucidated. Surprisingly, golden retrievers have two nearby genetic loci with haplotypes predisposing to both diseases. See Tonomura et al.

Image Credit: Mike Lappin