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Box elder trees linked to fatal disease in Midwestern U.S. horses

Horse lovers, veterinarians and scientists alike have long wondered why horses put out to pasture in the fall are so prone to contracting a deadly muscle disease that can kill the animals within days. Now, a team of University of Minnesota researchers may have found the answer …

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research-and-clinical-trials

Walk a different walk? If you’re a horse that could be a good thing

Out today is new research from a team of international collaborators, including the University of Minnesota, finding that a newly discovered equine gene is responsible for differentiating the ways in which domesticated horses move compared to those found in the wild.

The findings are published in the journal Nature, in the paper “Mutations in DMRT3 affect locomotion in horses and spinal circuit function in mice”.

University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine researchers Molly McCue, D.V.M., Ph.D.James Mickelson, Ph.D. and Jessica Petersen, Ph.D. contributed to the discovery of a naturally occurring genetic mutation in the domestic horse which results in altered movement – otherwise known as locomotion.

The mutation was found to alter the transmission of nerve signals in the horse’s spinal cord, meaning that some domestic horses were found to be capable of moving differently than wild horses.

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