Danish researchers found that toddlers who grew up with a cat in the home were less likely to develop asthma, according to a study published last month in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. The scientists reported that a variation in the TT gene appears to play a role in triggering asthma but seems to be neutralized in homes with cats.
Lead researcher Jakob Stokholm suggests that beneficial bacteria, fungi and viruses in the cat’s skin microbiome may somehow affect the expression of genes. It’s an interesting take on the ways genes and the environment may interact and affect health.
Read more, including a quiz on what you know about dog and cat breeds, as well as sugar gliders as pets, and more, in this week’s Pet Connection!