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Curiosity Revealed the Cat: Domesticating the Cat Genome

Wednesday, April 1, 2015 @ 7:30 PM-9:00 PM


Saint Louis Zoo Living World Auditorium (North Entrance), 1 Government Dr., St. Louis, MO 63110

Featured Speaker: Wes Warren, Ph.D., Assistant Director of Comparative Genomics, The Genome Institute at Washington University, Animal Comparative Genomics

We’re fascinated by the history and mysterious process by which animals were domesticated.  In the first whole genome study of cat domestication, researchers expected and found fewer molecular signals linked to domestication than, for example, in the dog, confirming what many of us have long suspected, our furry feline friends are only semi-domesticated.  That expectation was based on several factors unique to cat domestication history, cats experienced a shorter time period of co-habitation with humans; and unlike the dog, a lack of strong selection for specific physical features; and most importantly, domestic cats’ continued interbreeding with wild cat populations.

Cinnamon - Photo Credit: Dr. Kristina Narfstrom, University of Missouri

Cinnamon – Photo Credit: Dr. Kristina Narfstrom, University of Missouri

Initially launched to study hereditary diseases in domestic cats and offer insight into human diseases that are in some cases similar, the cat genome sequencing project also shed light on the genetic signatures of cats’ unique biology and survival skills and jump-started knowledge on the evolution of cat domestication.  Join Washington University Genome Institute genetics professor, and the study’s senior author, Wes Warren, for the inside scoop on the molecular events and genetic roots associated with the domestication of our feline friends.

FREE and OPEN to ALL.  Middle and high school students welcome!  Check with your teacher, you may be able to attend for extra credit!  Proof of attendance available following the presentation.

Parking is free in the Zoo’s North Lot.





Presented in partnership with:

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015
7:30 PM-9:00 PM
Event Category:


Saint Louis Zoo
1 Government Drive
St. Louis, MO 63110 United States
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