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Scientists Want To Make Dogs Live Longer

Puppies.Chiemsee2016/Pixabay

Dogs are some of the most endearing creatures on the planet and one of the most tragic things about them is their short lives, at least when compared to humans. Depending on the breed, they can live from 7 to 15 years, on average. Scientists are currently working to extend that period by addressing certain health issues that develop in canines during their lifetime.

The effort to extend the lifespan of man’s best friends is being done by the startup Rejuvenate, which is run by George Church. Church is the famous Harvard geneticist who pioneered CRISPR, thus starting the whole gene-editing renaissance that is currently trending. If it works on dogs, the thinking is that perhaps it can work on humans too, the MIT Technology Review reports.

Rejuvenate is basically working to tweak the genes of dogs to hopefully double their lifespan or increase it even further. By making dogs younger or, at least, extending the amount of time they spend being young, the thought is that it will help give them more time before health issues start hitting them.

Now, it’s worth pointing out that this can be a touchy issue. Although the idea of extending the lives of dogs might seem great, the idea of scientists experimenting on dogs can be horrific for canine lovers.

On the other hand, there are already plenty of questionable practices that involve dogs such as cloning right now, Futurism notes. Perhaps the idea of being able to live with their beloved furry pals might just be palatable enough for pet owners to ignore the potential harm that can be done before this goal is achieved.

There is also the matter of the potential benefits that this breakthrough could have for humans. At this point, the average lifespan of people ranges from 60 to 80 years. If Rejuvenate succeeds, this could go up to 120 years, at least.

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