Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

Now in our 12th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Rare Diseases Week Man's Test Friend
27 February 2014

Man's Test Friend

People born with centronuclear myopathy (CNM) have difficulty walking from an early age and often need a wheelchair by adulthood. The problems stem from a genetic mutation that severely weakens skeletal muscle. For a long time there was no animal model of the disorder, but researchers have now discovered a similar condition in dogs. Comparison of muscle cells from humans (top row) and Great Danes (bottom row) revealed a similar defect: cells from humans and dogs with CNM (right column) displayed a dense zone at their centre that wasn’t present in healthy controls (left). DNA sequencing also showed that affected dogs have a genetic mutation equivalent to that seen in humans with CNM. So it seems that canines serve as a faithful model of the human disorder, meaning that man’s best friend could help researchers to understand the underlying mechanisms – and to find new treatments for humans and dogs alike.

Written by Daniel Cossins

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 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

BPoD is also available in Catalan at with translations by the University of Valencia.