"Virtually all 500,000 of the world’s thoroughbred racehorses are descended from 28 ancestors, born in the 18th and 19th centuries, according to a new genetic study. And up to 95% of male thoroughbreds can be traced back to just one stallion."
"To assess the genetic diversity of modern racing horses, geneticist Patrick Cunningham of Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, compared 13 microsatellite DNA loci – repeating sequences of DNA which vary in length – in 211 thoroughbreds and 117 other Shetland, Egyptian and Turkish horses. He also examined studbooks dating back to 1791."
BBC News DNA study of 'greatest racehorse'
Genetics is playing an ever bigger role in equine science as researchers try to understand what goes into making a great champion, and what makes other horses more susceptible to disease or more likely to break down in training.
"We're using new technologies called microarray, or gene-chip, technologies that have revolutionised biological science in the last five years," explained Dr Emmeline Hill, from University College Dublin.
"These are now being adapted for the horse and they allow us to look at thousands of genes in parallel, to understand gene expression and to look at molecular networks and interactions in muscle cells that are under pressure at the end of a race.""
“Bioinformatics will be at the core of biology in the 21st century. In fields ranging from structural biology to genomics to biomedical imaging, ready access to data and analytical tools are fundamentally changing the way investigators in the life sciences conduct research and approach problems. Complex, computationally intensive biological problems are now being addressed and promise to significantly advance our understanding of biology and medicine. No biological discipline will be unaffected by these technological breakthroughs.”BIOINFORMATICS IN THE 21st CENTURY
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