Lil Bub The Cat Will Have Her Genome Sequenced

Lil Bub is perhaps the most interesting cat on the Internet, and she enjoys a hefty fan base. She's instantly recognizable due to her unique appearance: large green eyes, a short snout, and a tongue that is perpetually sticking out. She also is small and has very short legs, has extra digits on her paws, and sadly has no teeth. The reasons behind this are believed to be DNA mutations, something a pair of researchers want to definitely pinpoint. Thusly, they're going to sequence Lil Bub's genome.

Lil Bub has osteopetrosis, an overgrowth of bone that results in short, dense bones...hence her short legs. The disease that causes the mutations isn't known, however. Enter researchers Daniel M. Ibrahim, Uschi Symmons, and Darío G Lupiáñez who want to sequence her genome, getting a look at what causes her unique traits.

Lil Bub's owner is agreeable to the sequencing, which will only require a small sample of blood from the cat. The sequencing itself is pricey, however, and so the researchers turned to crowdfunding to raise the funds, which they have successfully done (funding is still open, however).

Says the researchers, in part, they "think LilBub's looks could be caused by mutations in her DNA that resemble those found in patients and other animals. By sequencing and analyzing the whole genome of LilBub we want to identify this mutation."

SOURCE: Gizmodo