Think you know horses inside and out? Michigan State University Extension's My Horse University is teaming up with the University of Minnesota to take your knowledge to a new depth. Beginning in April, a new webcast series will be offered to bring horse enthusiasts the most up-to-date information on equine genetics.
The first in a series of seven webcasts, "Equine Genetics 101," will be presented at no charge on April 22 at 11 a.m. EST or noon central time. It can be found at www.myhorseuniversity.com/genetics.
Presented by Molly McCue, assistant professor of veterinary population medicine at the University of Minnesota, the webcast will explore basic genetic principles that apply to traits and diseases. McCue will also discuss diseases that can be identified through genetic testing, how veterinarians are using genetic testing in diagnosis and applications of genetic testing to breeding programs.
Recent advances in genetic technology, starting with the sequencing of the human genome in 2001, have led to a much greater understanding of genetics. Scientists and physicians are recognizing the role of genetics not only in visible traits but more importantly in invisible traits that have a great influence on health and disease. The same techniques used to sequence the human genome are now being applied to domestic animal species, including the horse. The equine genome was completely sequenced in early 2007. In the past two years, researchers have developed the genetic tools necessary to research both simple and complex genetic traits in horses.
"The University of Minnesota is glad to partner with My Horse University to bring online education opportunities on equine genetics to horse owners across the nation. We are also grateful to the National Research Institute for granting this research and extension (outreach) proposal," says Krishona Martinson, an equine Extension specialist at the University of Minnesota.
The webcast series, "Equine Genetics: A New Diagnostic Resource for Horse Owners," is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Research Initiative. Future programs will focus on genetic applications, management of equine metabolic syndrome and shivers, and advances in equine genetics.
The webcast series is one component of a larger outreach and extension effort to provide research-based information on horse genetics to horse owners through online and in-person programs and printed materials.
My Horse University is a national online horse management program for horse enthusiasts. It's based at MSU, one of the top U.S. universities in equine science and management. Founded by the MSU Department of Animal Science, MSU Extension and MSU Global, this program offers equine education courses and resources that can be tailored to achieve horse management goals. For more information, visit www.myhorseuniversity.com.
The University of Minnesota Extension Horse Program provides research-based information to adult horse owners to improve the quality of care for the animals and their facilities. The focus is on horse care, health and nutrition. For more information, visit www.extension.umn.edu/horse.