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Horse DNA similar to humans

By James G. Robertson, National Geographic Digital Media

Scientists have finished a three-year project decoding the genome of the horse and have found something about the human genome in the process.

The researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University found lots of similarities between the DNA of a horse and that of humans, including large sections of chromosomes that change little between the two species.


Photo: Twilight, the horse whose genome was studied.  Courtesy Doug Antczak, Baker Institute for Animal Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University

Horses suffer from about 90 genetic diseases that resemble human genetic diseases, making the research important in finding cures for horse diseases as well as possibly important in curing some human diseases.  Researchers have already found the cause of a specific coloring that is also linked to a kind of night blindness.  The researchers also made a new discovery about how chromosomes function.

The DNA from the female thoroughbred Twilight was also compared to other horse breeds, and the researchers found about 1 million differences in the genomes, showing the genetic diversity in the horse species.



  1. Andrew
    Prefer Not to Tell
    November 10, 2015, 8:15 pm

    i an studying things that we share DNA with, apes are more related to old-world monkeys than they are to new-world monkeys, we share DNA with rodents and bananas, dogs and cats, and mushrooms and a type of bird. And adding the similarity between us and horses genome has helped me a lot.

  2. Caldwell
    January 8, 2014, 12:15 pm

    I am researching the potential for equines inheriting a gene and I am currently researching the possibility of it in humans; if horses and humans have similar genomes, is there anyone I can contact here to further define the possibility of the relation in theory?

  3. ronal
    sri lanka
    January 5, 2013, 6:00 am

    are centaurs real with this possibility