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Christopher Bryan Kaelin is a geneticist and pigmentation scientist at Stanford University. He is also the senior scientist in Gregory Barsh's lab, in residence in the Tang Lab. Kaelin has isolated several significant genes: one responsible for spotting in felines; one which produces color in dog; another responsible for skin color. His genetic research is also studied for its impact on weight regulation.
Career and research
As the senior scientist for Greg Barsh, (Greg Barsh is a geneticist and pigmentation scientist at Stanford University and the Hudson Alpha Institute of Biotechnology in Huntsville, Ala.)
Kaelin has studied color and pattern variations in dogs and cats. He was involved in the discovery of a gene that makes a protein called a defensin. Those Defensins may be the key to understanding color in dogs.
Kaelin also studied the production of yellow versus black pigment in dogs, which is controlled by three genes: Mc1r, Agouti, and CBD103. Kaelin proved that the A β-Defensin Mutation Causes Black Coat Color in Domestic Dogs  Transgenic mice grew black fur after being inserted with the gene.
Researching the marble and spotted genes in felines
Kaelin's research has been used to identify the spotted gene in domestic Bengal cats. Bengal breeders were interested in finding out which breeding cats carried the gene for marble bengals and which breeding cats are pure for spotting or rosetting. "Domestic cats have four distinct and heritable coat patterns – ticked, mackerel, blotched, and spotted – these are collectively referred to as tabby markings." Kaelin studied the color and pattern variations of feral cats in Northern California, and was able to identify the gene responsible for the marble pattern in Bengal cats. He identified the gene responsible for tabby pattern variation in domestic cats as Transmembrane Aminopeptidase Q (Taqpep), which encodes a membrane-bound Metalloproteinase. Analyzing 31 other felid species, he identified Taqpep as the cause of the rare king cheetah phenotype, in which spots coalesce into blotches and stripes.
Kaelin claims that basic biological researchTemplate:Mdashidentifying genes and their relationship to color and patternTemplate:Mdashmay have a serendipitous benefit. I.e., finding causes and leads to cures for disease.
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- Barsh, Greg; Kaelin, Christopher. "Tabby pattern genetics – a whole new breed of cat". John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1755-148X.2010.00723.x. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- "One way to skin a cat – same genes behind blotches of tabbies and king cheetahs". National Geographic Partners. nationalgeographic. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/phenomena/2012/09/20/tabby-cat-blotches-king-cheetah-stripes-spots-taqpep/. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
- Conger, Krista. "How the cheetah got its stripes: A genetic tale by Stanford researchers". Stanford University. http://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2012/09/how-the-cheetah-got-its-stripes-a-genetic-tale-by-stanford-researchers.html. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
- "Specifying and Sustaining Pigmentation Patterns in Domestic and Wild Cats". Science (6101): 1536–1541. 21 Sep 2012. Template:Citation error.
- Norton, Elizabeth (September 20, 2012). "How the Tabby Got Its Blotches". https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2012/09/how-tabby-got-its-blotches. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
- "One Gene Lays The Blueprint for A Cheetah's Spots And A Tabby Cat's Stripes". Popular Science. https://www.popsci.com/science/article/2012-09/one-gene-lays-blueprint-cheetahs-spots-and-your-pet-tabbys-stripes. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
- "How the Tabby Got Its Blotches". American Association for the Advancement of Science. https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2012/09/how-tabby-got-its-blotches. Retrieved 1 May 2019.