Scientists have found the mutation that makes pugs look like that - We Save Dogs Life

Scientists have found the mutation that makes pugs look like that


Studies of dog DNA have revealed a genetic mutation linked to flat face shapes, which could help pave the way to diagnosing abnormal skull conditions in humans.

The research linked brachycephaly, a condition that results in a shorter skull, with a particular gene.
Pugs are probably the best known canines that suffer from the condition, and researchers found that the disruption of this gene was strongly linked to the length of a dog’s face.


The researchers, from the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute, analysed DNA samples from 374 pet dogs of various pedigree and mixed breeds.
The animals underwent CAT scans as part of the project, and detailed 3D images of their heads were produced as a result.

The scientists used these to map and take precise measurements of the shape of the dog’s skull and then pinpoint DNA variations associated with different head shapes.
One variation, found to disrupt the activity of a gene called SMOC2, was strongly linked to the length of the dog’s face.
Animals with the mutation, such as pugs and bulldogs, had significantly flatter faces.

The condition is known as brachycephaly and can be found in human babies too, though little is known about its causes.
Scientists now say screening children for changes in the SMOC2 gene could help to diagnose the condition.



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