Proof That Dogs are Better Than Cats?
We always suspected that cats were evil…
Back in April we posted that owning a dog can make you a healthier person. A dog encourages you to exercise and a healthy emotional bond with your four-legged friend is good for your soul – and your body. There is also evidence that man’s best friend is also good for his children too, for young children who live with a dog appear to get an immune-system boost against asthma and other allergies.
What do our feline friends do for us? Well, from an article in NHS Choices:
“Own a cat and run the risk of eczema”, warns The Daily Mail today. They say that a study looking at 800 British and Danish babies has found that “those with mutations in a certain skin protein gene were twice as likely to get eczema in their first year. If they lived with a cat they were almost certain to develop it”. The article quoted the author of the research, Dr Hans Bisgaard, as saying, “If you haven’t got the mutation, it doesn’t matter if you have a cat. But if you have the mutation, a cat has an effect.”
Science Daily reports:
Eczema runs in families and evidence suggests it is caused by genetic and environmental factors. The same researchers recently discovered that two common “loss-of-function” variants in the gene encoding filaggrin (FLG) predispose people to eczema. Filaggrin is a protective protein normally found in skin. It acts as a physical barrier to potentially harmful substances in the environment. The researchers hypothesized that inheriting one or two defective FLG genes might weaken their physical barrier, affecting their response to environmental substances.
Dr Hans Bisgaard and colleagues from the Danish Paediatric Asthma Centre, and universities in the UK carried out the research. It’s fascinating work and the results of the study may help us further assess the connection between genes, environment and nurture in the mental and physical development of humans and animals.
And it gives us just one more reason not to have a cat.