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Latest Inbreeding Stories

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2008-10-30 13:04:29

Although research has linked inbreeding with elevated rates of deformity in a wide variety of animals, a new study finds it plays no part in the high incidence of malformation among salamanders. Purdue University researchers recently examined 2,000 adult and juvenile salamanders and found that 8 percent had visible deformities, mainly consisting of missing, extra or dwarfed digits (equivalent to fingers and toes). That is double the rate of malformation found in newts, a related amphibian,...

2008-02-07 16:02:26

Couples who are third or fourth cousins tend to have more kids and grandkids than other couples. And though considered somewhat of a cultural taboo, mating between "kissing cousins" makes good biological sense, say scientists. The findings, which come from a recent study of Icelanders, shed light on how relatedness affects reproduction and ultimately the size of families. The researchers suggest marrying third and fourth cousins is so optimal for reproduction because they sort...

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2005-08-03 15:25:00

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Breaking up families can be sad, but in a new method for selecting passive livestock animals, that's a main ingredient for better long-term productivity, according to a Purdue University geneticist. The new breeding program, designed to get the best out of the animals, is the first major advance in classical breeding in 20 years, said William Muir of the Purdue Department of Animal Sciences. By picking less aggressive individual animals from a broad range of families,...

2005-06-29 21:30:00

HOUSTON -- Comparative studies of captive breeding strategies conducted at Rice University bolster the case for costly and sometimes troublesome breeding programs that preserve maximum genetic variability in small populations of endangered species. Worldwide, zoos spend millions of dollars each year transporting rare animals thousands of miles in order to breed them with their most distantly related relatives. Some have questioned the need for such programs, which can stress rare...