If you’re anything like me, genetics make your head explode, but I do know that genetics are behind the beautiful colors of tortoiseshell and calico cats. The coat colors of these tri-color cats are the result of the interaction between genetic and developmental factors. Cells in female mammals have two copies of the X chromosome — one from the mother and one from the father. Cells require only one active X chromosome, so the second one is turned off. Calico cats have an orange-fur-color gene on one of their X chromosomes and a black-fur gene on the other. The random silencing of one of the X chromosomes in each cell results in the calico cats’ unique patchwork coat.
Researchers at the University of California in San Francisco are using this information about calico coat colors to try to learn more about how different kinds of genes can be switched on or off without affecting the underlying DNA sequence. Researchers say this knowledge could lead to improved understanding, diagnosis and treatment of X-chromosome-related diseases in humans. Read the full story on NBC-2.com.
If If you missed any of the stories featured on The Conscious Cat this week, here’s a recap: on Monday, we warned you about the dangers of lawn chemicals, which affect not just outdoor cats, but also indoor only cats, on Tuesday, we told you how to keep your backyard birds safe from cats, on Wednesday, we introduced you to Only Natural Pet and their truly natural pet products, and on Friday, we reviewed How to Make Your Cat an Internet Celebrity. And don’t forget to enter our giveaway for a MeowBox for your kitties.
Do your cats beg for food? The cat in today’s video takes begging to a whole new level (forward to the one minute mark if you don’t want to watch the first 50+ seconds of kitty being generally adorable).
Have a great weekend!