The Domestication Project
The domestication project was a unit through which we studied genetics. Mendel, a genealogist from before genealogy was a thing came up with a hypothesis about inheritance, and from this came up with a set of rules for heredity. Even though farmers had been selectively breeding livestock for certain traits for centuries, Mendel's experiments with pea plants, proved to be revolutionary. He said that for any trait, there will be a dominant and a recessive gene. A parent can give to its offspring one of its chromosomes for each trait, either a dominant or a recessive, and the combination of inherited chromosomes from each parent will delineate what trait is displayed in the offspring. After getting a firm grasp on Mendelian genetics, also called simple inheritance, we looked at complex inheritance which includes incomplete dominance and co-dominance, both of which are examples in which there is no trait that is completely dominant over the other. We also looked at pedigrees in order to ascertain weather or not a selected person in a family is likely to display the trait or not or if they are a carrier. With an elementary understanding of genetics, as well as the processes of mitosis and meiosis, we set about appealing this to the domestication of animals. We inspected different aspects of domestication, and its effect on animals that have been domesticated, and form that derived projects to study, and in the end, make an info-graphic on.
I chose to do a project on sounds that scare dogs. These include thunder, gunshots, and fireworks among others. I hypothesized that sounds that scare dogs might have a common element in the range above human hearing that frightened the dogs. I went about this through a method called spectrogram analysis. A spectrogram is a sound visualization technique that displays a sound with the Hz on the 'Y' axis and time on the 'X' and having the decibels in this range portrayed by color. From this, I was able to discern that there were in fact high levels of noise at about 23,000 HZ, at the threshold of human hearing. Unfortunately, I didn't have a big enough sample size to draw definite conclusions of any kind from the comparisons of the spectrograms of thunder, gunshots, and car noises. My data indicated that there could possibly be a positive correlation between the high-frequency levels in a noise and weather or not a dog is afraid of them, but like i said, nothing definite. This research and observation that I conducted could, however prompt further research, and that research could finally rest the question of what makes dogs afraid of thunder.