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A genetic study of domestic cats helps breeders

This is Science Today. A genetic study of over a thousand cats traced the movement of the modern, domestic cat through the Fertile Crescent to the Americas. Study leader Leslie Lyons, a cat genetics expert at the University of California, Davis says by tracing how cats are related to one another, they can predict what kind of genetic problems might be in other closely-related breeds.

Lyons:             It also helps us if two breeds have the same condition, having the difference of the genetics between the two breeds actually helps us narrow down where that genetic condition might be. And so it actually helps us find the needle in the haystack.

Narrator:        Lyons says the next step is using this information to narrow down inherited traits in the cat and develop a breed management program. And for endangered species - a survival plan.

Lyons:             Let's do it for our breeds, too, so that not only do we use health information and behavior information, but we can use genetic information to help manage our cat breeds so that they can stay healthy for as long as we choose to breed them.

Narrator:        For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.