Recent studies have revealed that there are five key genes that have enabled dogs to develop such close social ties to humans. But surprisingly, researchers from Linköping University in Sweden also found four of the genes are related to social disorders, such as autism, in humans. One of them, named SEZ6L, has been linked to sociability and has been discovered in strands of DNA in beagles. The university conducted a test using beagles raised in a lab. All canines were given the unsolvable task of opening a tight lid containing a treat along with a female observing them. When the dogs got stumped with the puzzle, they would occasionally glance at the human for help.
The scientists used video recordings to test the willingness of the dogs to seek help from a person in the room when they discovered they couldn’t open it alone. According to Science News, an area on chromosome 26 may be associated with social interactions among humans. So far, the study has only been performed on beagles, but researchers hope to do further studies on other breeds.
The article, published by Science News, can be found here: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/gene-linked-autism-people-may-influence-dog-sociability?tgt=nr
Author: Merin George
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