In dogs, certain mutations in the CDKN2A gene have been linked to the development of certain types of cancer. And ELTE’s research found that this confirms, according to the researchers, that the gene may have a similar role in humans, at least in controlling cancer.
The researchers examined the dogs’ brains. The first results show that a gene that plays a prominent role in aging exhibits similar activity in dogs and humans. The gene may be suitable for an accurate estimation of biological age and for predicting the development of some diseases associated with aging in dogs – the Hungarian Nation wrote.
MTI reported that researchers have studied dogs in other areas as well. Staff of the Behavior Science Department at Eötvös Loránd University found that short-nosed, cooperative, young, and playful dogs are most likely looking into the human eye. Four factors have been studied that may influence how well a dog looks at a person. The animals’ head shape, types, age and personality were also considered during the study.
Dogs are uniquely adapted to humans, and communication plays an important role in this, while being sensitive to the direction of human gaze. Eye contact with the host raises the levels of oxytocin on both sides, which strengthens the social bond. However, dogs are not equally likely to make eye contact.
One hundred and thirty family dogs were examined during the research. This revealed that boxers, bulldogs, dogs, and short-nosed dogs generally see more acutely in the center of their field of vision due to the structure of their retina, so they were supposed to make eye contact with humans easier. In contrast, dogs with long noses see a wide panoramic image because the neurons that process information are evenly distributed in the retina. Therefore, if they had to focus on themselves, they could easily be distracted by visual stimuli from the surroundings, the researchers report.
Nobel Prize winning ethicist Konrad Lorenz says dogs with cocky noses and large eyes are preferred by people because they remind them of children. Recent findings suggest that the fact that dogs with shorter noses pay more attention to their owner’s face, and thus easier to communicate with, should not play an insignificant role either.