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The staff of the University of California San Diego have created a formula which precisely the previous “empirical” methods compares the age of the people and dogs. The formula is based on the change in the structure of methyl groups in the genomes of dogs and humans. Article researchers published in the journal Cell Systems.
Age dogs frequently converted to human, simply multiplying it by seven. However, researchers have long shown that to simplify the compliance ages of Pets and people is impossible.
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The authors of the new work for the first time proposed a method of age determination on the basis of the epigenetic clock, which can be transferred between species. According to the researchers, the new formula can be a useful tool for veterinarians and to assess the effectiveness of anti-aging interventions. A new method based on the analysis of epigenetics — chemical modifications, such as methylation, which affect the switching on and off individual genes without changing the genetic sequence.
Previously, scientists have already created a similar epigenetic watches for men, but they were severely limited and not suitable for all people and especially to animals. Now researchers decided to perfect his method. To do this, they collected and analyzed blood samples from 105 Labrador retrievers of all ages on epigenetic markers. The analysis and comparison with human samples, scientists have built the dependence.
The resulting chart can be used to map the age of the dog with age. And the formula, which is derived from this graph is not similar to the rule “year seven”. The ratio changes with increasing age of the dog. The authors showed that when dogs are young, they age faster than people. One-year-old dog is like a 30-year-old man. Four-year-old dog is like 52-year-old man. Then for seven years the aging dog slows down.
One of the limitations of the new epigenetic clock is that they were developed using the same breed of dogs. But some breeds are known to live longer than others. Therefore, more research is needed to clarify the formula epigenetic clock. But since they are precise for humans and mice, as well as the Labrador Retriever, the researchers suggest that the method can be applied to all breeds of dogs.
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