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Aaron Sams, PhD

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Inbreeding, Genetic COI, and Why They Matter to Your Breeding Program

Measuring Inbreeding and How Genetic COI Can Help Your Breeding Program


Learn about genetic COI (coefficient of inbreeding) and how it can be used to inform breeding decisions with Embark’s Principal Scientist, Aaron Sams, PhD Many factors are considered when choosing which dogs to use in breeding programs including conformation, temperament, genetic disease mutations, and much more. Assessing the impact of inbreeding is another factor to...

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How DNA Genotyping Works … and Why It Sometimes Doesn’t


Occasionally, we get questions from customers curious about how their dog’s DNA is processed into the genotype data that we analyze to understand breed ancestry and health risks. Once we receive your dog’s cheek swab, the DNA contained in the sample is copied many times in a process called amplification. Next, all of those copies...

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Why Mixed Breed Siblings May Not Look Exactly Alike


“Are these dogs really siblings? They look nothing alike.”  This is a common question people have after using our relative finder. After you’ve Embarked your pup, there is a chance that you’ll come across dogs that are very closely related to yours but look very different.  We’ve written previously about how the breed(s) in your...

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Breeding for the future: Why genome-wide diversity matters


Many dog breeders have reached out to us to ask “What makes Embark’s test better for maintaining diversity and lowering disease risk in my breed?” Specifically, they are often interested in how Embark compares to other diversity management products that use a very small number of genetic markers to make breeding recommendations. In short, you...

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VIDEO: Inbreeding Explained


When closely related dogs mate, it is defined as inbreeding. “Inbreeding is the mating of individuals or organisms that are genetically closely related, resulting in increased homozygosity and consequently an increase in the occurrence of recessive traits,” according to Nature. “This can lead to inbreeding depression: reduced biological fitness of the population.” In this video,...

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embark blue eyes discovery

Embark Discovers Why Dogs Have Blue Eyes


At Embark, we are working to end preventable disease in dogs. Today, we are proud to officially announce the first step along that path to discovery, our first published scientific research! So, what did we find? In short, we discovered a genetic mutation, specifically a duplication of DNA sequence near ALX4 (a gene on dog...

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Embarking on Dog Ancestry Research!


Hi Embarkers! Aaron Sams, Research Scientist at Embark, here. If you are an Embarker that has opted to participate in scientific research, you’re officially a citizen scientist! On behalf of Embark, I want to say thanks for your contribution. This week, Embark is presenting some of the first research to come out of the data...

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