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Credit: Yolanda Chen

A Penn Vet study identified a deletion in a gene responsible for canine night blindness. 

This genetic modification found in dogs has also been implicated in congenital stationary night blindness for humans, according to Penn Today. The hereditary condition affects people’s vision in dim light making it harder for them to identify objects. 

Congenital stationary night blindness is caused by a deficiency in a type of bipolar cells, which are important in transmitting the light signal from the environment to the brain, the study read. The research was published in Scientific Reports on Oct. 2. Researchers found that a deletion in the LRIT3 gene is associated with the blindness conditions in dogs. 

Mutations in LRIT3 have also been implicated in people with the same blindness condition, Penn Today reported. 

Researchers first identified and characterized a form of the blindness condition in dogs in 2015, which was published the study in the journal PLOS ONE. In the more recent study, the researchers worked on finding a mutation that causes the condition. 

The Penn Vet team has now successfully identified the gene which is responsible for congenital night blindness in dogs.

“We have indeed nailed down the exact genetic mutation this is causing this disease," said Penn Vet professor and senior author Keiko Miyadera in Penn Today. “The next stage is to work on treating this condition, that is to come, and we’re very excited about it.” 

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