Want a Longer Life for You and Your Dog- Try This New Drug
The one sad thing about keeping pets, especially dogs, is that you live outlive them. The average dog lives until the maximum old age of 13, and that’s if it remains healthy throughout its life. Pet owners have come to take this as a reality of life and simply choose to enjoy what little time they have with this faithful creature. But, what if they didn’t have to? What if there was a drug you could give dogs that would lengthen their living years? Would you give it to your dog? Scientists are presently studying a drug known as rapamycin, which could extend the lifespan of Fido, and one day, it could even extend your life.
As MIT’s Technology Review reports, scientists are currently monitoring 20 household dogs in Seattle, all over the age of six, to see what effect the drug has on their life. Before testing dogs, the drug has proven its anti-aging effects in worms, fruit flies and mice. If it proves successful (and safe) in dogs, it will be tested on human volunteers next. The drug has already proved to prolong the life of lab mice by 9 to 14 percent, meaning it could extend the average dog’s life by as much as 1.82 years. If the same goes for the average human, it could mean an extra 11.48 years of life. And, while the effects are interesting, the drug itself may be even more exciting.
Rapamycin is made from a naturally occurring bacteria found in soil first discovered underneath a moai (those giant head statues) on Easter Island. In 1983, the material was almost lost completely. As Business Insider explains, the pharmaceutical company Ayerst was set to close its Montreal lab. The company told Dr. Suren Sehgal to dispose of anything that didn’t have a useful effect yet. In its place, Dr. Sehgal took the with him. He put it in his freezer and wrapped it in packaging that said, “DO NOT EAT.” After years of personal testing, Sehgal found that rapamycin could help to repress the immune system after an organ transplant. The FDA approved its use in 1999. In 2003, Sehgal died after a lengthy battle with colon cancer. Though, through his discovery and mad science, our pets, and perhaps we, may enjoy a few extra days in our life.