A trio of researchers is seeking crowd-sourced funds to sequence the genome of a cat called LilBub. LilBub, the researchers say at Experiment.com, was born with some unique characteristics — she's small with extra digits on each paw, no teeth, and osteopetrosis. Her tongue also hangs out of her unusually short snout.
Daniel Ibrahim and Darío Lupiáñez, both at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, and École Normale Supérieure de Lyon's Uschi Symmons say that by sequencing LilBub's DNA, they'll home in on the reason behind her particular combination of traits and perhaps shed light on some of those traits that other cats as well as dogs, mice, and people share.
"We … think LilBub's looks could be caused by mutations in her DNA that resemble those found in patients and other animals," they write. "By sequencing and analyzing the whole genome of LilBub we want to identify this mutation."
So far, they've raised nearly $2,000 of their estimated $6,500 budget to sequence and analyze LilBub's genome.