Super Mice

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute put out a release today about the protein PPARβ/δ and its role in athletic performance. Here is the release..... ORLANDO, Fla. -- Muscle performance and fitness are partly determined by how well your muscle cells use sugar as a fuel source. In turn, exercising improves the muscle's ability to take up sugars from the bloodstream and burn them for energy. On the flip side, conditions that reduce physical activity -- such as obesity or chronic disease -- reduce the muscle's capacity to burn sugar. A new study by researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham) unravels a mechanism that re-programs metabolic genes in muscles

Shots on Goal

A client asked me a question the other day which really struck home at what we are about here at Performance Genetics. After explaining how we look at horses and assess their chances of becoming a graded stakes winner, the client commented "ohh, so you are really about talent identification rather than classification...." I stopped for a minute and thought about what he was saying. Are we more interested in correctly classifying each horse, or are we more interested in identifying them? I am pretty sure we are not interested in perfectly classifying every horse. We have seen enough Belmont Stakes winners whose genotype suggests that they should be sprinters to say that while we try to sugges

Genetic Quality of Service Fees

With the Northern Hemisphere breeding season is fast approaching, I thought it would be timely to post a study on the relationship between stallion service fees and genetic merit. The study was done a couple of years ago now (2007), but the findings are pertinent nonetheless. In particular the summary "while there are good genes to be bought, a stallion's fees are not an honest signal of his genetic quality and are a poor predictor of a foal's prize winning potential" Have a look at the paper here. #ServiceFees

2011 Pedigree, Genetics and Performance Conference

The DVD for the 2011 Pedigree, Genetics and Performance Conference is now available to order. You can get a copy by clicking here. For those that were not at the Conference or didn't hear about it, the Conference featured speakers from around the world talking about Thoroughbred pedigrees, the advancements in genomics as it relates to performance and some other performance related tools that help identify elite racehorse talent. It is a good DVD, especially for a Xmas present! #BloodHorse #Genomics #Pedigree

Two new important scientific papers on the Thoroughbred

Two really important scientific papers were published today (at least I think they are!). The first was a paper written by Matthew Binns to do with inbreeding in the thoroughbred. He and his team found (unsurprisingly) that the thoroughbred has increased in inbreeding coefficient in the last 40 years, and even more so since the advent of big stallion books. The papers is really quite eye opening as it outlines the rate of inbreeding and how with the advent of big books, the rate has increased exponentially. The Thoroughbred is an inbred horse as it is, and of course increased inbreeding has been found to have a negative effect on overall population fitness. Binns made no assertions what the

Recurrent airway obstruction and Genomics

Just yesterday we highlighted a paper that discussed the great progress that has been made in the equine genome, and how the thoroughbred industry at large can use genetics to truly improve the breed. The paper specifically mentioned the good ground that can be mede in identifying and selecting against diseases and heritable traits that impinge on performance. Recurrent airway obstruction (RAO) is a common, performance-limiting, allergic respiratory disease of horses characterized by chronic cough, nasal discharge, and respiratory difficulty. Episodes of airway obstruction are observed when susceptible horses are stabled, bedded on straw, and fed hay, whereas elimination of these inciting fa

EVJ weighs in on how genomics can help the thoroughbred.

While they do not mention performance, a paper has appeared in this months Equine Veterinary Journal (click here to read it online) outlining the benefits and challenges for genomics in improving the thoroughbred. It is a very well written article and one that we thoroughly recommend that all breeders interested in genomics to improve their results read. #EVJ #Thoroughbred

Data and More Data

Popular Science, an online magazine dedicated to new technology and science has a series of articles online regarding the use of data and in particular data mining to make informed decisions. One of the more interesting articles was about the Irish bookmaker Paddy Power, who uses both real data (race form, pedigree, etc) to make informed decisions about how to frame a market for a race, and also crowd sourcing information and betting patterns to make alterations to the market. All of it is driven by data. You can click on the article here. What we found most interesting was there comment made between the difference between weak and strong data, and how strongly you can make recommendations o

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