From Laika to Balto, the dogs that made history in science | Animals that starred milestones and scientific advances

One last lick of water and the cabin closed. Outside, a cylindrical explosion lit up the cosmos as the little cosmonaut ascended beyond the stratosphere. it was called Laika and was the first living being to orbit the earth and one of the most famous dogs in the world.

In the history of science, man’s best friend was a pillar in the advancement of humanity. The reasons why they gained notoriety are diverse. Some were unsung heroes whose exploits became known and spread. Others saved lives or set an example of gratitude and courage. They all showed unconditional loyalty and great love for human beings. And, from the UNQ Scientific News Agency, we carry out this review.

Laika’s space mission

Laika was the first living being sent into space, in 1957, aboard Sputnik 2, when the Soviets launched it in the space capsule. She went from being a stray dog ​​to becoming an astronaut dog after two months of training. She did not survive, but her sacrifice served to prove that the Soviets could send living beings into outer space. That is why, in 1960, Sputnik-5 was launched with a crew consisting of a rabbit, mice, rats and Belka and Strelka, two dogs, also strays, that They returned safe and sound, they did not show any damage from the trip and they even had descendants. The fact that they have returned healthy served to ensure the trip of Russian astronaut Yuri Gagarin.

Pavlov’s dogs and conditioned reflexes

Ivan Pavlov was a Russian scientist, who received the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine at the beginning of the 20th century. Among his experiments, he carried out one with dogs as protagonists: it consisted of associating the physiological response of salivation, a consequence of the presentation of a specific stimulus (food), to the appearance of a neutral stimulus (the sound of a bell).

For it, exposed several stray dogs to a bowl of food, which produced an involuntary physiological response to salivate. Pavlov observed that these animals salivated at the sight of food, a reaction produced by a direct stimulus. Later, he would come to the conclusion that the dogs also salivated simply at the sight of the attendant who normally brought them their food.

It was then proposed to condition the natural reflex of salivation by introducing a neutral stimulus. Pavlov played a metronome before feeding the dogs, and after several repetitions, the dogs salivated by association, simply by hearing the metronome, without the need to offer them food. He thus demonstrated the existence of conditioned reflexes. The researcher performed other experiments behavioral psychology and physiology with his dogs, which earned him the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1904.

Hi Trouve!

The history of the telephone begins with the dog of the Terrier breed belonging to Alexander Graham Bell. Bell’s dog answered to the name of find and it was famous because it helped the scientist to develop his first “talking machine” (the forerunner of the telephone).

Bell trained his dog to clench his jaw every time he barked, so that the sounds he made would be mistaken for a human voice. With a lot of work involved, she managed to get the dog to bark something similar to the words “How are you, grandma?” (How are you, Grandmother?). The experiment paid off.

Marjorie, diabetes and insulin

medical students Frederick Banting and Charles Best discovered insulin in 1921. On August 6 of that year, it was a dog named Marjorie the first diabetic animal in the world that received pancreas extract or insulin in its most primitive state, with encouraging results: his blood glucose level dropped, and he seemed healthier and stronger.

A few weeks later, Marjorie had to be euthanized due to complications related to the poor filtering of the hitherto little-known insulin. On January 11, 1922, 14-year-old Leonard Thompson, a diabetic since he was 12, was given an injection of pancreas extract, a version purified to remove toxic contaminants, and a startling improvement was achieved.

Togo and Balto, brave and supportive

Thanks to a long journey, Siberian dogs Togo and Balto managed to save the lives of many people. In 1925, a diphtheria epidemic struck the Alaskan town of Nome, endangering the lives of its inhabitants. To prevent it from happening to adults, several groups of 20 dogs had to travel, guided by their owners, different areas of Alaska to pass the only cure available and take her back to the village. Although she was weak, Togo managed to run the entire course.

Balto was present in the same race as Togo, but he only ran the last quarter of the course. Still, he is one of the most famous dogs in science and is often remembered for his achievement, as he came in the final group with the drugs.

Tasha the dog and the DNA revolution

Early 21st century The complete genome of Tasha, a boxer dog, was sequenced. what supposed the first complete genome of the species. The researchers explained that the dog has 20,000 genes, somewhat less than man. The team deciphered some 2.4 billion DNA nucleotides in Tasha’s 39 chromosomes. In that sense, compared to the human genome and other organisms, the dog’s it is a great help to identify genetic factors for the health of man.

However, these and many other dogs left a mark on humanity that, after many years, still remains unchanged.

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From Laika to Balto, the dogs that made history in science | Animals that starred milestones and scientific advances