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How old is your dog in human years? This calculator promises more accurate estimate, using epigenetics

| | November 20, 2019

This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Our Scotch collie, Buckaroo, is just shy of 14 years old. Following the long-debunked but still popular idea that one dog year equals seven human years, he’s almost a centenarian. (This “formula” may be based on average life spans of 10 and 70 years for dogs and people, respectively.) Now, researchers say they have a new formula (see calculator below) to convert dog years to human years—one with some actual science behind it.

[Editor’s note: Go to original article for calculator]

They scanned DNA methylation patterns in the genomes of 104 dogs, ranging from 4 weeks to 16 years of age. Their analysis revealed that dogs (at least Labrador retrievers) and humans do have similar age-related methylation of certain genomic regions with high mutation rates.

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The research team also used the rate of the methylation changes in dogs to match it to the human epigenetic clock, although the resulting dog age conversion is a bit more complex than “multiply by seven.” The new formula, which applies to dogs older than one, says a canine’s human age = 16 ln(dog age) + 31. (That’s the natural logarithm of the dog’s real age, multiplied by 16, with 31 added to the total.)


Read full, original post: Here’s a better way to convert dog years to human years, scientists say

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