dog longevity, rapamycin, dog aging product

A new drug could extend a dog's life by three years.

The tragedy of having pets is knowing that one day you’ll have to say goodbye to your loved ones. The average dog lives between 10 and 13 years, depending on its breed, but researchers believe that with the help of a drug called rapamycin, their lives can be extended by around three years.

Rapamycin was discovered nearly 50 years ago from soil that was found on Easter Island, an island in the South Pacific famous for its mysterious Moai statues. The drug was approved by the FDA for human use because it suppresses the immune system to prevent it from attacking donated organs.

"Rapamycin seems to have the ability to 'reset' immune function by reducing the increase in chronic inflammation that goes along with aging," Dr. Matt Kaeberlein of the Dog Aging Project says according to Yahoo. "This also seems to have benefits beyond the immune system in all sorts of tissues and organs."


Early tests on dogs, rats and mice show the drug is very effective at reducing the aging process. It was found to reduce age-related declines in mice, most notably in the heart, ovaries, brain and oral cavity. It was also found to boost the immune system's response to cancers and COVID-19.

The study found that rapamycin increased the mice's average life spans by up to 25%. If the same results are found in dogs, then a canine with a 12-year life span could presumably live to 15.

“You can take an old heart or an old immune system, treat a mouse with rapamycin for eight weeks, and see that function improve. I know it sounds a little bit like science fiction, but when you actually look at the data, it's quite remarkable," Kaeberlein says, according to KRTV.

The drug is found to have serious side effects in humans including cancer, diabetes and infections. However, Kaeberlein believes that they are partially the result of the drug being administered to people who already have health problems. Further, the drug will be administered in much smaller doses to dogs, compared to humans who have had organ transplants.

The University of Washington's Dog Aging Project is taking this research a step further by doing a nationwide study on almost 600 dogs.

Kaeberlein believes that a dog is just as likely as a mouse to benefit from the effects of rapamycin, although the reaction will differ by breed. He believes that when it becomes widely used by veterinarians it’ll be administered to larger dogs at around 6 or 7 years and smaller dogs at 9 or 10.

The drug is already approved for use in humans by the FDA, so further studies will help dog owners and veterinarians decide whether it’s a safe treatment. "If our trial shows compelling evidence for beneficial effects and little in the way of side effects, I suspect many veterinarians will become more comfortable prescribing it for owners who request it," Kaeberlein says.

There is never a right time to say goodbye to our beloved pets. But if these studies turn out as researchers predict, we may be able to have a few more years of memories with our dogs before they cross the Rainbow Bridge.

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey made a heartfelt plea for Americans to “do better” on Tuesday after a gunman murdered 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.

Uvalde is a small town of about 16,000 residents approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio. The actor grew up in Uvalde until he was 11 years old when his family moved to Longview, 430 miles away.

The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

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Joy

50-years ago they trade a grilled cheese for a painting. Now it's worth a small fortune.

Irene and Tony Demas regularly traded food at their restaurant in exchange for crafts. It paid off big time.

Photo by Gio Bartlett on Unsplash

Painting traded for grilled cheese worth thousands.

The grilled cheese at Irene and Tony Demas’ restaurant was truly something special. The combination of freshly baked artisan bread and 5-year-old cheddar was enough to make anyone’s mouth water, but no one was nearly as devoted to the item as the restaurant’s regular, John Kinnear.

Kinnear loved the London, Ontario restaurant's grilled cheese so much that he ordered it every single day, though he wouldn’t always pay for it in cash. The Demases were well known for bartering their food in exchange for odds and ends from local craftspeople and merchants.

“Everyone supported everyone back then,” Irene told the Guardian, saying that the couple would often trade free soup and a sandwich for fresh flowers. Two different kinds of nourishment, you might say.

And so, in the 1970s the Demases made a deal with Kinnear that he could pay them for his grilled cheese sandwiches with artwork. Being a painter himself and part of an art community, Kinnear would never run out of that currency.

Little did Kinnear—or anyone—know, eventually he would give the Demases a painting worth an entire lifetime's supply of grilled cheeses. And then some.

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