”Everything I know, I learned from dogs.”

Dogs are amazing animals. You meet them everywhere in our society, and they are so different from one another. But that difference is in the morphology, not so much in the genetics. And here is a funny thing, going back a few thousand years, it was the exact opposite. While they looked more alike each other than they do today, they contained much more genetic variations. I may not go as far as Nora Roberts and claim that I learned everything I know from dogs, but this we did learn from dogs, ancient dogs.

We, at CPG, participated in an international study where 27 ancient dogs from various parts of Eurasia were sequenced. And all the variation in the dogs is exciting in it self (for example, we are able to identify five different groups 11000 years ago based on the data), it is also exciting to explore how different types of dogs sometimes accompanied humans, and sometimes moved between human groups. Several people have participated in this study, but most of the work was done by Anders Bergström and Pontus Skoglund at the Crick Institute in London. And although my part was small in this study, it makes me especially happy to see so many colleagues I have shared laboratory with in Stockholm or Uppsala participated in generating this kind of exciting work.

Among the dogs are naturally individuals from the PWC site Ajvide on Gotland. By now that site must be the most aDNAed site in the world, or at least one of the most.