12 June 2014
Dogs may be man’s best friends, but they share more than just our affection – some breeds have hereditary conditions that also affect humans. For example, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever puppies are occasionally born with a cleft palate, where the roof of the mouth doesn’t form properly due to a naturally-occurring inherited gene fault. These images are three-dimensional reconstructions of CT scans of the skulls of two pups, looking upwards at the roof of the mouth with the teeth at the top. The dog on the left carries the gene fault and has a cleft palate – the bones that have failed to join together are highlighted in blue – while the one on the right is normal. This gene fault is found in some human babies with Pierre Robin Sequence, which also causes cleft palate, helping to reveal what’s going on at a genetic level.
Written by Kat Arney