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Scientists found a gene that can be responsible for tamed behaviour of domesticated animals

Scientists from Russia, China, and the US have studied for the first time the genome of a domesticated fox and found a gene that may be responsible for its tamed behaviour. In the long term, studying the gene can help in finding ways to treat a number of mental illnesses, the press-service of the Institute of Cytology and Genetics (ICG) of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences informed on Tuesday. The article describing the study has been published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution.
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The fox genome has been studied for the first time as a part of the fox domestication experiment, which has been being conducted in the Novosibirsk Academgorodok since 1959.

«The authors consider SorCS1 to be one of the most likely candidates for the role of the gene responsible for tamed behaviour, since it regulates proteins involved in the connection between neurons. Mutations in this gene can lead to disturbances in the entire glutamate system of the body which were observed in patients with autism and a number of other mental illnesses. Therefore, SorCS1 is a potential target gene for those who develop strategies for treating these diseases,» the press release said.

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