How old Fido really is.
A dog with an apologetic eye is looking at you, is it old age wisdom or teenage naiveté? Researchers come up with an equation to calculate a dog’s age in human years. What really is dog years?
Comparing a dog’s age to a person’s age is not as simple as multiplying a dog’s age by seven, a myth that has already been abandoned. A dog’s age is based on chemical changes in its DNA. “Dogs and other mammals progress through similar physiological stages throughout their lives, from early development to puberty, aging, and death.” A group of researchers wrote in a study they conducted to assess age in dogs and other mammals.
However, it is still unclear whether dogs, humans, dogs, and other mammals undergo the same molecular changes in the body. In their study, the researchers looked at DNA methylation, the attachment of three hydrogen groups and one-carbon (methyl group) to parts of the DNA molecule. These may be signs of aging.
In humans, the rate of DNA methylation tends to increase with age. It works in the so-called. as an “epigenetic clock” as a means of assessing human age; researchers have been able to determine the age of a blood donor by examining the amount of methylation in their DNA. Researchers have also found that other species, such as dogs, undergo DNA methylation.
In a recent study, the team analyzed DNA and its methylation in blood samples taken from about 100 dogs slightly over one-month-old and 16 years old. The study compared the findings with previously published “methylation profiles” of 320 people aged 1-10 years.
The results suggested that methylation proceeded in approximately the same way in dogs and humans; the amount of methylation in young dogs was the same as in young people, and the amount in these older dogs was similar to that in older people.
The researchers found that the 8 weeks of dogs equals 9 months in humans when both species begin to grow small teeth. The average lifespan of retrievers is 12 years, which corresponds to the expected global lifespan of people, which is 70 years. But in adolescent and mature dogs, the relationship was “more approximate,” the researchers wrote. Teenagers and mature dog’s age slightly faster than adolescents and adults (meaning more methylation). But as the dogs are nearing the end of their life cycle, the degree of aging or methylation is again matched to that of older people.
So the researchers made an equation to describe this ratio: 16 x ln (dog age) +31. In other words, take your dog’s natural age log multiplied by 16 and then add 31.
Of course, this was calculated based on one race, and the aging of the other races is different, the authors wrote. Further studies analyzing methylation are needed to determine the lifecycle of different breeds – and different animals.
The researchers reported their findings Tuesday (Nov. 19) in the preprint journal bioRxiv.
What do you think about this study? Probably the age determination based on scientific DNA research may be correct, but the formula presented is by no means correct.
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