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Lisa Marr wanted to know more about the 2-year-old Australian cattle dog she had adopted in Missouri. So like a growing number of dog owners, the Ohio college professor bought a kit to test his DNA.

In February, she took a saliva sample from Badge and mailed it to Embark Veterinary, a Boston startup. A few weeks later, she learned that he is indeed a purebred. But Embark also sent her an email containing what it said “could be alarming news.”

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