A few new studies of interest
There have been a few new studies release in the past week or so that are of interest. The papers are attached to the links
This one is on the muscle loss that occurs following exercise. It is based on trotters but we think that the same would apply to thoroughbreds also. It mentions some specific amino acids and the like to supplement post work to increase muscle recovery and reduce muscle loss. It is a little underpowered, not enough horses really, but it is a very interesting preliminary study. There is another summary of the findings here.
This is a really good study on humans and their response to exercise training (it opens as a PDF). This study established a genome-wide predictive model for humans response to training and increase in VO2 Max. It points to a number of favorable alleles carried at 21 SNP's as being able to identify low and high training response. This is pretty much the method that we used to establish our own prediction model in thoroughbreds.
Variations within ACTN3, a muscle gene, have been associated in some studies with elite performance in humans. This study looks at the gene and its association with muscle type in horses
Here is an article from The Horse on the rapid advancements being made in equine genetics as far as sequencing is concerned. It is becoming cheaper and cheaper every day to sequence the whole genome (it is down to about $3,000 per horse now) and one day it is going to be as cheap to do a complete sequence as it is to use the 75KSNP chip. The problem then is going to be computing power and data manipulation. There are not enough people that understand how to manipulate/interpret SNP data.
This paper is on show jumpers, but again it shows how genetics can be used for breed improvement. They need to verify their findings with more horses (115 is a little underpowered as far as genetic studies goes - 600 would be better), and verify the QTL's they have found, but it is interesting nonetheless that by comparing different groups you can identify genetically what makes them different.
It seems that horses do not suffer from 'jet lag'</a>. Indeed a disruption in the circadian clock may in fact improve performance in thoroughbred racehorses.