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Bonnag's Sequence

The Manx Cat Genome Project, a crowd-funded effort that began last year, has sequenced its first cat, Bonnag from Douglas on the Isle of Man, the BBC reports.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh analyzed DNA from Bonnag's blood sample, the Isle of Man News reports. By drawing on previous work on the cat genome, the researchers pinpointed the deletion Bonnag harbors that led her to be tailless. Through further analysis of Bonnag and two other Manx cats, the researchers hope to identify other variants that determine whether Manx cats are rumpy with no tail, stumpy with a short tail, or longy with a longer, but still short, tail, the Isle of Man News adds.

The researchers also hope to better understand diseases afflicting the breed like Manx Syndrome, a disorder marked by incontinence and sometimes lameness, the BBC reports. "We hope it will shed some light on this condition and help us to develop tests which will give owners an idea about the risks," Rachel Glover, the computational biologist leading the study, says.