We know all how daunting, saddening, and heart-wrenching it is to lose a dog. We all wanted our furry little friend to a happy and long life. In new research, it was found that extended longevity in dogs is related to a gene.
In a paper published in the Frontiers in Genetics, it was found that two dogs lived 50% longer lives than other dogs. The scientists studied the DNA of the two dogs, Buksi, 27-year old male and Kedves, 22-year old female. These dogs are known as “Methuselah dogs”. This is the term used for canine instead of centenarians.
According to David Jonas, a researcher at the Department of Ethology at Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest, a healthy lifestyle for dogs can be promoted if they properly understand the aging mechanism.
The healthy and long lives of dogs will have a positive effect on dogs. Also, it will positively impact the mental health of owners.
The scientists took a closer look at the DNA of both the dogs to find a similar gene that might explain the long lifespan. Experts believe they have found the gene linked to the extended lifespan in dogs.
With the help of these findings, further research can be conducted with several elderly dogs. Jonas thinks, fine-tuning is a vital genetic requirement for extreme longevity.
After examining nearly 20,000 dog genes, the scientists were able to discover start and stop codon mutations. This mutation resulted in interference with the function of genes. Moreover, some genes overlapped and are linked to Alzheimer’s, inflammation, and immunity in humans.
According to Carlos Alvarez, a researcher at Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, people are breeding dogs just for the sake of appearance. This has a huge impact on the health of the puppy. However, with this new finding, people might change their point of view on dogs.
People used to select dogs strictly for appearance traits. This made them prone to several diseases. But with the understanding of the DNA of dogs, they can start focusing on health rather than just looks.
If scientists understand the mechanism of aging in dogs, they believe they use the insights to understand how aging mechanisms in humans work. This is because both, dogs and humans live in the same environment. They think it will make the findings more relevant and easily applicable to humans.