Fat Labradors give clues to obesity epidemic
The Labrador retriever, known as one of the greediest breeds of dog, is hard-wired to overeat, research suggests.
The dog is more likely to become obese than other breeds partly because of its genes, scientists at Cambridge University say. The gene affected is thought to be important in controlling how the brain recognises hunger and the feeling of being full after eating. The research could help in the understanding of human obesity. "About a quarter of pet Labradors carry this gene [difference]," lead researcher Dr Eleanor Raffan told the BBC. "Although obesity is the consequence of eating more than you need and more than you burn off in exercise, actually there's some real hard-wired biology behind our drive to eat," she added. Researchers screened more than 300 Labradors kept as pets or assistance dogs for known obesity genes in the study, published in the journal Cell Metabolism. The international team found that a change in a gene known as POMC was strongly linked with weight, obesity and appetite in Labradors and Flat-Coated retrievers. In both breeds, for each copy of the gene carried, the dog was on average 2kg heavier. Other breeds of dog - from the Shih Tzu to the Great Dane - were also screened, but the genetic difference was not found.However, the variation was more common in Labradors working as assistance dogs, which the researchers say might be because these dogs are easier to train by rewarding with food.
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The learner's ability to pronounce words shared by the people of a particular country or region of the language they are learning.
Good effort at accent. Quite close to that of a native speaker
Excellent effort at accent. Extremely close to that of a native speaker.
Limited effort at accent. Definitely a non-native speaker
The learner's ability to speak continuously by chunking and linking words together. For example, instead of saying very slowly, "I - am - poor. I - have - no - money" like a robot, a fluent speaker would say, "I'm poor because I don't have any money."
Speech is relatively smooth; some hesitation and unevenness caused by rephrasing and searching for words
Smooth and fluid speech; few to no hesitations; no attempts to search for words; volume is excellent
Speech is frequently hesitant with some sentences left uncompleted
The learner's ability to understand the relative emphasis that may be given to certain syllables in a word, or to certain words in a phrase or sentence
Able to identify and produce correct intonation, word stress and rhythm patterns with 50-90% accuracy.
Able to identify and produce correct intonation, word stress and rhythm patterns with 90-100% accuracy.
Able to identify and produce correct intonation, word stress and rhythm patterns with < 50% accuracy
The learners' ability to enunciate the various consonants, consonant blends, vowels, and vowel blends in words, words linked together, and words in sentences.
The pronunciation contained some individual word pronunciation errors. Around 3-4 errors
The pronunciation is exceptional and mirrors a native speaker. Shows a clear understanding of word stress and intonation. Only 0-2 errors
The pronunciation is inconsistent and made it difficult to understand. 5 or more errors