If you have ever had a pet, youthey probably would have been interested in the question of how many years your pet could have in one or another period of his life in human terms. It is known that the average life expectancy of a dog varies from 6-7 years to 17-18 depending on its breed and size, however, how many years can these figures be when converted to human age? In order to make it easier for you to orient yourself at the age of your pet, a team of researchers from the University of California has developed a special formula based on DNA changes over time.
How to determine how old the dog is?
Both humans and dogs have one unpleasantproperty - they are aging. Over time, our DNA adds to itself special methyl groups that change the activity of certain segments of deoxyribonucleic acid, while not changing the DNA itself. Knowing this, the team of scientists decided to apply the so-called methylation method to study the processes of the epigenetic mechanism or age-related changes occurring inside every living creature on the planet.
Despite the fact that the life expectancy of dogsdifferent breeds varies greatly, they all show a similar development path, passing through the standard stages of life of any organism. According to the portal sciencealert.com, to conduct an unusual experiment, the researchers used a blood test of dogs of the Labrador Retriever breed, comparing the obtained data with blood methylation profiles of 320 people aged from one to 103 years, as well as with blood counts of 133 mice.
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As a result of comparing dog’s methylomas with human ones, scientists were able to derive a formula for calculating the “human” age of the animal:
person's age = 16ln (dog's age) + 31.
Multiplying the natural logarithm of the pet’s age in years by 16, and then adding 31, you can get the exact same number that will show the “human years” of your dog.
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Using the formula, the researchers were ableto establish that the seven-week age in dogs corresponds to nine months in humans - the time when milk teeth begin to erupt in humans and puppies. At the same time, the age of a 12-year-old dog is approximately equal to the age of a 70-year-old person. Due to the fact that different breeds of dogs and age differently, we most likely will never find any universal approach for determining the age of an animal. However, a formula based on the use of the body’s epigenetic clock can in any case suggest even an approximate result.