Friday, February 27, 2009

More genetics and animals

Studies of the damaging effects of small populations and loss of genetic variety in threatened wild animals illustrate why the loss of genetic variation in dogs is potentially such a serious welfare problem:

"Conservation genetics focuses on understanding the role and requirement of genetic variation for population persistence. Can extinction be explained by habitat destruction alone or is lack of genetic variation a part of the explanation? It is now more important than ever that we ask relevant questions about the evolutionary fate of endangered populations throughout the globe and incorporate our knowledge of evolutionary processes and the distribution of genetic diversity into effective conservation planning and action." (From the back cover).

And a cute and very readable history of genetics with special reference to tortoiseshell cats:

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