Hip dysplasia, in which looseness in the hip joint causes excessive wear that eventually leads to arthritis, is most common among large dogs, especially those like the German Shepherd Dog and the Saint Bernard which have heavy, broad hips. The long neck and large head of breeds such as the Great Dane and the Doberman can cause the compression of the spinal cord in neck vertebrae, leading to wobbling and falling (“wobbler syndrome”). Selective breeding of the disproportionately short legs of breeds such as the Basset Hound and the Dachshund has led to bowed legs and chronic problems with elbow dislocation; the short legs and long back of Dachshunds causes them to suffer more often from ruptured vertebral disks. Because of their small bones, toy and miniature breeds are more likely to experience patellar luxation, the slipping or dislocation of the kneecaps.
[…] #GMOFAQ: Transferring genes from one species to another is neither unnatural nor dangerous by Michael Eisen: Last week I wrote about the anti-science campaign being waged by opponents of the use of genetically modified organisms in agriculture. In that post, I promised to address a series of questions/fears about GMOs that seem to underly peoples objections to the technology. I m not going to try to make this a comprehensive reference site about GMOs and the literature on their use and safety (I m compiling some good general resources here.) I want to say a few things about myself too… […]
Darwin thought of natural selection by analogy to how farmers select crops or livestock for breeding, which he called " artificial selection "; in his early manuscripts he referred to a "Nature" which would do the selection. At the time, other mechanisms of evolution such as evolution by genetic drift were not yet explicitly formulated, and Darwin believed that selection was likely only part of the story: "I am convinced that Natural Selection has been the main but not exclusive means of modification."  In a letter to Charles Lyell in September 1860, Darwin regretted the use of the term "Natural Selection", preferring the term "Natural Preservation".