See Spot run. See Lassie save Timmy from a well. See Tibetan Mastiffs climb 4,500 meters above sea level on the Tibetan Plateau. The ever-so-fluffy Tibetan Mastiff, which commonly serves as a guard dog for the plateau’s residents, is able to breathe comfortably at high altitudes. Like the Tibetan people, Tibetan Mastiffs have adapted to air with less oxygen.
Ya-Ping Zhang and a team of scientists examined sets of genes from 32 Tibetan Mastiffs, 20 Chinese native dogs, and 14 wolves to investigate how the Mastiffs have adjusted. They looked for variations in the DNA sequence called single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs, also pronounced simply as “snips”). The scientists genotyped the SNPs in the Mastiffs and compared them to the ones in the dogs and wolves.
Read the full, original story: In Tibet, Dogs Breathe Comfortably With Less Oxygen