Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

is the new name of the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre

BPoD is 5

In 2017 we celebrate five years of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science

Skin and Fur
19 April 2017

Skin and Fur

Understanding how our genes affect susceptibility to specific diseases is challenging, so studying similar conditions in other species can be helpful. The onset of juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM), causing muscle weakness and skin rashes, is linked to viral infections and other stressors, but the genetic factors facilitating its development are poorly understood. However, research on a similar disease in dogs recently identified three genes associated with the pathology. While one encodes an element of the major histocompatibility complex, a set of crucial immune system proteins, the others were not previously anticipated to be linked to JDM. Disease risk is determined by the combination of specific forms of these genes – known as alleles – and can be very high: for example, 92% of studied dogs with the same alleles as this Shetland sheepdog (pictured) displayed characteristic skin lesions. Investigating the human counterparts of these canine genes could yield new insights into this condition.

Written by Emmanuelle Briolat

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences (the new name for the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre) the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More