We are told that the cat genome has been sequenced. The impression given is that this is a major step. What is genome sequencing? I don't exactly know to be honest but what I do know is that it does allow people to better understand the building blocks of the animal of which the genome has been sequenced and it also allows scientists to better understand the genetics of the animal, as I understand it.
In this instance an Abyssinian cat living at the University of Missoula in Colombia was the subject chosen to represent her species. A 25 man multinational scientific team was pulled together to sequence the cat genome.
It is stated on the website that provides the source of this information that one reason for sequencing the genes of the cat is to better understand disease, at least in theory. Although cats and humans don't infect each other with their respective diseases except on rare occasions, domestic cats are known to suffer from about 250 conditions which are “analogous to human conditions".
One of them is feline AIDS (FIV) caused by a virus which depresses the immune system. Accordingly, “feline infectious agents offer powerful natural models of deadly human diseases".
Those words indicate to me, possibly incorrectly, that scientists have recognised that many diseases that affect the cat take a similar course to diseases that affect humans and therefore testing medications on cats may help scientists to better understand how to cure human diseases.
I'm just throwing up a red flag to see where it lands but I don't see any reason to sequence the cat genome other than if it has some benefit to people because that is how people think. Already we know that cats are used in medical testing, although of course, far more rarely than mice, for example.
I hope I'm incorrect.