Scientists Hope to Help Dogs Live Longer


Older dogs, such as James, could see their lives extended if new research pans out.
Photo by Evan, Golden

Perhaps the most bittersweet part of loving a dog is knowing that its life span will be so much shorter than yours. But, according to an article in the MIT Technology Review, there are scientists who are working on that problem:

Scientists who study aging are currently riveted by a group of 20 dogs in Seattle. The dogs, all house pets older than six years old, are early test subjects in a trial of a drug called rapamycin. The way the drug works is not completely understood, but it’s been used for years to prevent rejection of transplanted organs, and in laboratory studies, it’s lengthened the life spans of diverse species: worms, fruit flies, and mice. If it works in dogs, healthy human volunteers will be the next guinea pigs.

Who among us wouldn’t love an extra few years to bond with a best friend? Let’s hope this research leads to a breakthrough. . . .

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