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Ohio State University creates first DNA gene chip for horses
The chip, a sliver of glass, which houses more than 3,200 horse genes, is the size of a postage stamp. It contains thousands of the genes for a horse and allows researchers to scan an individual horse`s genes to see which are active in certain situations.


As an example, drug companies may use a gene chip to see how a specific drug will affect an animal.

Gene chips already exist for humans, mice, rats and some microorganisms. Scientists say having a representative gene chip for a large animal now could lead to better accuracy in studying human disease.

`Although we rely on animal models to study human diseases, we really aren`t sure what some of the genetic differences are between those animal models and humans,` says Alicia Bertone, researcher, who led OSU`s efforts in develop the equine gene chip. `Gene chips can help us uncover these key differences, giving us critical information before we launch into an experiment.`

Bertone developed the chip with the aid of Weisong Gu, also a researcher at OSU. The work was supported in part by Affymetrix, manufacturer of various gene chips.

Source: `Ohio State debuts first gene chip for horses`. In: DVM Newsmagazine December 22, 2003. www.dvmnewsmagazine.com/dvm/





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EQUINE

Theiler´s disease in a Trakehner caused by contaminated tetanus vaccinemembers
An 11‐year‐old Trakehner gelding was presented for evaluation of lethargy, decreased appetite, mild icterus, and elevated hepatic enzyme activities. Physical examination, serum chemistry results, and liver biopsy histopathologic findings were supportive of Theiler`s disease. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing results of serum and liver tissue were positive for nonprimate (equine) hepacivirus (NPHV) and a novel equine parvovirus‐hepatitis virus (EqPV‐H). A serious and finally fatal problem, caused by contaminated vaccine.

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