- Dogs are often called the Man’s best friend
- A recent study shows that friendly dogs share a similar gene structure with people who are socially hyper
- These people, who suffer from William-Beuren Syndrome, seem to have the best relationship with dogs
July 22, 2017: A recent study has established genetic similarities between friendly dogs and people who are socially hyper. These people, who suffer from William-Beuren Syndrome, are opposite of autistic. Thus, the often heard phrase that dog is a man’s best friend is now backed by science.
William-Beuren Syndrome makes people more social, outgoing, extrovert, empathetic, and overall more interesting.
The recent study has also determined how dogs departed from their wolf family and became domesticated animals. The genetic setup in dogs makes them crave for social recognition and contact.
The study, which has been published in the journal Science Advances, involved 10 captive wolves and 18 domesticated dogs. The animals were studied on their problem-solving skills as well as their social skills.
The animals were first given the task of lifting a box lid to access sausage (their treat) while the researchers observed which animal would turn to human help. The gray wolves were able to access their treats more comfortably, while the dogs were observed staring at humans in the room.
The co-author of the research, Monique Udell, told News18, “Where the real difference seems to lie is the dog’s persistent gazing at people and a desire to seek prolonged proximity to people, past the point where you expect an adult animal to engage in this behavior.”
Upon studying the blood samples of dogs and wolves, two genes were identified to have variations. The genes GTF2I and GTF2IRD1 make dogs different from wolves. These genes in dogs make them more social than their family line. These are the same genes that heighten the William-Beuren Syndrome in humans.
This gene variation in dogs and wolves is the actual reason that dogs departed from their family line of wolves and became such a popular part of domestic pets.
Dogs separated from wolves around 40,000 years ago. Rather than the belief that humans tamed wolves, it is now more likely that the differentiated line came to humans in search of protection.
– Prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394