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Exciting New Grant for Simultaneous DNA testing
TT Health and Welfare Foundation grant will enable simultaneous DNA testing for multiple diseases affecting Tibetan Terriers using a single sample
OCTOBER 2015 The Tibetan Terrier Health and Welfare Foundation has made a $15,000 health research grant to the University of Missouri that will fund the creation and validation of a panel of Tibetan Terrier-related DNA tests that can be performed at one time with a single DNA sample. According to Dr. Gary Johnson from the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri, the ability to conduct multiple DNA tests simultaneously from a single DNA sample will be possible as a result of the University’s purchase of an expensive new scientific instrument called a MassARRAY.
The Tibetan Terrier panel of DNA tests is expected to initially include DNA tests for Lens Luxation, Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, and Degenerative Myelopathy. Dr. Johnson, in his grant proposal to the Foundation, noted that this new scientific instrument will lead to lower DNA testing costs for dog owners, since the cost of the proposed panel of tests is expected to be about $100. The MassARRAY device can be used to perform twenty or more simultaneous DNA tests on a single sample according to Dr. Johnson.
The creation of a panel of DNA tests for Tibetan Terriers may also lead to breakthroughs in the identification of genetic mutations that cause rare diseases in Tibetan Terriers. For example, researchers have used computer algorithms to search through millions of apparent mutations to zero in on mutations that may cause rare forms of Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) in Tibetan Terriers. But to prove that suspect mutations are, in fact, the cause of these rare forms of PRA, researchers would have needed expensive stand-alone DNA tests of many dogs in the hope of finding more Tibetan Terriers with the rare gene mutation. Looking forward, researchers will be able to add a test for suspect mutations to the panel of tests for Tibetan Terriers --- a cost effective way to get the critical data researchers need to prove suspect mutations are associated with certain diseases.
Stacey LaForge, former chair of the TTCA’s Health and Genetics Committee, described the chance to finally create an efficient panel of DNA tests for Tibetan Terriers, “exciting news.” She added, “this is an idea that the Health and Genetics Committee has been discussing and pushing for over a year now, but the technology has not been in place to accomplish it until now.” Tibetan Terrier owners do need to temper their excitement about getting a panel of DNA tests performed simultaneously from one DNA sample --- Dr. Johnson’s grant proposal advises it may be a year before everything is ready for panel DNA testing of Tibetan Terriers to begin at the University of Missouri.
AKC CHF Hypothyroidism Grant READ MORE
Hip Dysplasia Grant through AKC
The Tibetan Terrier Health and Welfare Foundation is happy to announce the funding of a Hip Dysplasia grant through the American Kennel Club, Canine Health Foundation.
PRA Study Grant Approved (READ MORE)
TTHWF Co-Sponsor Lymphoma Study with the Morris Animal Foundation
The TTHWF is proud to announce that we will be co-sponsoring a promising study through the Morris Animal Foundation. The study, Determining a More Effective Treatment for Canine Lymphoma, is being conducted by Dr. Jaime Modiano at the University of Minnesota. To help the TTHWF fund this study, and others like it, please DONATE.
Advances in Breed Health
Great strides are being made in research for many of the diseases that directly affect the Tibetan Terrier. The TTHWF funded the research at the University of Missouri which developed the test to identify NCL carriers, affected and clear dogs; and the research at Cambridge University which developed the test to identify PLL carriers, affected and clear dogs. These tests allow breeders to make informed decisions before they breed which makes for a happier and healthier Tibetan Terrier!
For information about current research, see the TTCA Health Page.
Since 2007, donors have funded research for Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (NCL), PRA, Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia (AIHA), Canine Atopic Dermatitis, Lymphoma, NCL stem cell research and Renal Dysplasia. In addition to the AKC/CHF grants, we are also funding a study by Dr. Richard Vulliet and his research with Stem Cell Therapy for dogs affected by NCL See information on this research here: PDF
All donations are 100% tax deductible.
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