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March 4, 2014

Cat Born With Two Faces


The domesticated cat and its closest wild ancestor are both diploid organisms that possess 38 chromosomes and roughly 20,000 genes. About 250 heritable genetic disorders have been identified in cats, many similar to human inborn errors. The high level of similarity among the metabolisms of mammals allows many of these feline diseases to be diagnosed using genetic tests that were originally developed for use in humans, as well as the use of cats in the study of the human diseases.
An example of a mutation that is shared among all felines, including the big cats, is a mutant chemo sensor in their taste buds that prevents them from tasting sweetness, which may explain their indifference to fruits, berries, and other sugary foods. In some breeds of cats congenital deafness is very common, with most white cats (but not albinos) being affected, particularly if they also have blue eyes. The genes responsible for this defect are unknown, but the disease is studied in the hope that it may shed light on the causes of hereditary deafness in humans.
Since a large variety of coat patterns exist within the various cat breeds, the cat is an excellent animal to study the coat genetics of hair growth and coloration. Several genes interact to produce cats’ hair color and coat patterns.


Cat Born With Two Faces1
Cat Born With Two Faces2
Cat Born With Two Faces3

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