Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Venter, Fraser Use Pet Poodle for Celera/TIGR Dog Genome Project

NEW YORK, May 10 - Move over, Venter, and let Rover take over.

 

A high-ranking scientist from the Institute for Genomic Research has confirmed that Celera and TIGR used DNA from one of Craig Venter's and Claire Fraser's pet poodles for their canine genome-sequencing collaboration.

 

The confirmation, quickly seconded by four separate TIGR scientists and a top official at Celera, affirms long-standing rumors that the dog, a black Standard Poodle named Shadow, has followed one of its owners into the genomic history books.

 

Venter, the shy one in the family, disclosed to the mainstream media late last month that Celera's human genome sequence was mostly his own. This, too, confirmed what most of the genomics industry knew to be true. Last year TIGR said that Celera had begun sequencing the genome of a 7-year-old Standard Poodle named Shadow.

 

According to the TIGR official, who asked to remain anonymous, TIGR, a federally funded research lab, did not use government money to perform the 1X sequence on the dog, the oldest of three in the Venter-Fraser household. Instead, the couple paid for the cost to sequence their dog's genome "out of their own pockets."

 

A TIGR spokesperson confirmed that Shadow belongs to Venter and Fraser and said that no government funding was used in the project. A Celera spokesman said the company has no comment.

 

Asked for their opinion about the news, a handful of randomly selected genomics scientists couldn't have been less excited if they learned that Venter's DNA comprised Celera's human genome sequence. One researcher, however, noted that a Beagle might have been a better choice because its DNA has been shown to be more relevant to humans'.

 

Standard Poodles are "very active, intelligent, and elegant-appearing dogs," according to the American Kennel Club. They are "squarely built, well proportioned, moving soundly, and carrying [themselves] proudly.

 

"Properly clipped in the traditional fashion and carefully groomed," the AKC notes, "the poodle has about him an air of distinction and dignity peculiar to himself."

 

Standard Poodles come in a dizzying array of colors--blues, grays, silvers, browns, "cafe-au-laits, apricots, and creams," according to the AKC. They also come in confusing color combinations: Brown and cafe-au-lait poodles, for example, have "liver-colored noses," "eye-rims and lips," dark toenails, and dark amber eyes.

The Scan

And Back

The New York Times reports that missing SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences are back in a different database.

Lacks Family Hires Attorney

A lawyer for the family of Henrietta Lacks plans to seek compensation from pharmaceutical companies that have used her cancer cells in product development, the Baltimore Sun reports.

For the Unknown

The Associated Press reports that family members are calling on the US military to use new DNA analysis techniques to identify unknown sailors and Marines who were on the USS Arizona.

PLOS Papers on Congenital Heart Disease, COVID-19 Infection Host MicroRNAs, Multiple Malformation Mutations

In PLOS this week: new genes linked to congenital heart disease, microRNAs with altered expression in COVID-19, and more.