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Horse ChipsResearchers at Ohio State University created the first DNA gene chip that contains thousands of the genes for a horse. It houses more than 3,200 expressed horse genes on a sliver of glass about the size of a postage stamp.
Since their invention nearly two decades ago, gene chips have revolutionized some basic approaches to research. Having a representative gene chip for a large animal leads to better accuracy in studying human disease. Commercial gene chips are also available for humans, mice, rats, rice plants and a number of microorganisms.
Horses are often used as models for orthopedic diseases, such as osteoarthritis and osteochondrosis a disease that inhibits bone growth.
The equine gene chip can also be used to identify horse diseases such as equine protozoal myelitis (EPM), a debilitating neurological disease. Also, testing a drug or other therapy is typically done in large animals, such as horses, dogs and cats, before being tested on humans.
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