Scientists determine that a human year does not equal seven years of dog and give the most accurate answer

A group of researchers at the University of California School of Medicine in San Diego (USA) have created a formula to more accurately determine age correspondences between humans and dogs based on changes in DNA with time. The new method debunks the idea of ​​a linear comparison in which one human year equals seven canine years, according to a study. published en Cell Systems.

Using a technique known as oligocapture sequencing, the scientists analyzed the molecular changes in the DNA of 104 Labrador Retriever dogs, particularly in the genome’s “patterns of change in methylation” —the chemical changes that influence ability of a gene to express itself and generate proteins – so they were able to develop a new epigenetic clock that allows us to more accurately calculate the rate of canine aging.

As a result of the analysis, academics were able to determine that the aging rate of dogs is much faster than that of humans, especially during the first years of life. However, upon reaching maturity this rate slows down.

Therefore, according to the study, a one-year-old dog is similar to a 30-year-old human, while a four-year-old is similar to a 52-year-old man. “This makes sense when you think about it; After all, a nine-month-old dog can have puppies, so we already knew that the 1: 7 ratio was not an exact measure of age, ” he pointed Trey Ideker, lead author of the study.

For his part, Ideker recognizes that the development of a new epigenetic clock using a single race can be a limiting factor in the research, especially knowing that some live longer than others, thus ensuring that more research is necessary. However, he believes that since this method of accurately determining the age of humans, mice and labradors is capable, it will also be possible for other dog breeds.

Source: SanDiego University

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