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Horse Genome Project


International Equine Genome Mapping Workshop
The 8th Dorothy Russell Havemeyer Foundation International Equine Genome Mapping Workshop took place near Newmarket, UK from July 22 to 25, 2009...[more]

Writers at the Louisville Courier Journal recently won the 2008 Media Eclipse Award for journalism based on an article about Thoroughbred racing and break-downs. They published a 3 part story, including genetics, track surfaces and medications. In connection with the genetics section they interviewed several members of the Horse Genome Project. See the accompanying links for the full stories on the 2008 Media Eclipse Award and the article itself.

Courier-Journal Web site wins award for horse project
Genetics may hold key to Injury-prone horses
[December 2008]

The first draft of the horse genome sequence was recently completed and deposited...
[JAVMA News, April 2007]

Data on Equine Genome Freely Available to Researchers Worldwide
[NIH News, February 2007]

The first genome map of a horse is complete, providing scientists with new tools for investigating equine disease. [ April 2006]



Would a clone of Secretariat win the Kentucky Derby ?

Secretariat is probably the most recognized name among horses. He was a phenomenal 3 year old colt which won the American triple crown in 1973.  Many consider him to be the best Thoroughbred race horse of all time. 

So, would a clone of Secretariat be another super-race horse?   Secretariat was probably the perfect example of his genetic type.  But aspects of development, such as the number of times a cell divides or how far it migrates in the developing embryo are not under strict genetic control.  For example, competitive drive may be enhanced when a brain cell divides 200 times rather than 100 times, but the number of divisions may be a chance event during embryonic development and not strictly determined by genes.  It may be that during development of Secretariat every progenitor cell in the brain, skeletal muscle, heart and lungs divided and migrated just the right distance.  He came to our attention because everything from genetics, development, management and racing was done just right.   

Would ten clones of Secretariat, raised and trained the same, cross the finish line together in record time?  Almost certainly not. Even if genetics, management and racing are exactly the same for all ten, the chance events happening during development would result in small differences which would be significant in winning.  


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