+
upworthy
Joy

A drug discovered on Easter Island may help dogs live up to three years longer

Every dog owner is going to want this.

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.



A teacher's message has gone viral after he let his student sleep in class — for the kindest reason.

Teachers spend time preparing lesson plans and trying to engage students in learning. The least a kid can do is stay awake in class, right?

Keep ReadingShow less
Identity

Video shows 80 years of subtle sexism in 2 minutes

Subtle, persistent sexism over a lifetime is like water torture.

via HuffPo

Condescending sexism is persistently cliché.

Subtle, condescending sexist remarks such as "When are you going to have children?" and "You'd be so pretty, if you tried" are heard by women on a daily basis. Like water torture, what's subtle and persistent can become debilitating over a lifetime.

Making things more difficult is the contradicting nature of many sexist clichés that women are subjected to starting in childhood, such as "Is that all you're going to eat?" and "You eat a lot for a girl." Then there are the big-time, nuclear bomb sexist remarks such as "Don't be a slut" and "What were you wearing that night?" that are still shockingly common as well.

Keep ReadingShow less

A family fights over a baby name.

When it comes to parenting, the second most important decision—after whether to have a child or not—is choosing a name for the kid. Even though we live in times where parents are getting more and more creative about picking a name for their children, those with a more common name have a greater chance of being socially accepted than those without.

According to Psychology Today, grade-school kids with highly unusual names or names with negative associations tend to be “less popular” than those with more “desirable” names. Later in life, people with “unpopular or unattractive” names have more difficulty finding romantic partners.

A 23-year-old mother-to-be wanted to name her son Gaylord and had her family's full, passionate support, but her husband, 24, and his side of the family were firmly against the idea. The woman was looking for validation and posted about the dilemma on Reddit's AITA forum.

Keep ReadingShow less

New baby and a happy dad.


When San Francisco photographer Lisa Robinson was about to have her second child, she was both excited and nervous.

Sure, those are the feelings most moms-to-be experience before giving birth, but Lisa's nerves were tied to something different.

She and her husband already had a 9-year-old son but desperately wanted another baby. They spent years trying to get pregnant again, but after countless failed attempts and two miscarriages, they decided to stop trying.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

What I realized about feminism after my male friend was disgusted by tampons at a party.

"After all these years, my friend has probably forgotten, but I never have."

Photo by Josefin on Unsplash

It’s okay men. You don’t have to be afraid.



Years ago, a friend went to a party, and something bothered him enough to rant to me about it later.

And it bothered me that he was so incensed about it, but I couldn't put my finger on why. It seemed so petty for him to be upset, and even more so for me to be annoyed with him.

Recently, something reminded me of that scenario, and it made more sense. I'll explain.

Keep ReadingShow less

People name song lyrics they sang wrong.

We've all done it. If there is one common human experience, it's getting the lyrics wrong in a song. I refuse to believe that this isn't a universal thing that transpires in all countries, cultures and languages, and if you tell me otherwise I'll have no other choice than to believe you're lying. But there's something innocently hilarious about people learning that they've been singing the wrong words to popular songs. Someone in a Reddit community decided to ask the question that clearly a lot of people have been waiting to be asked: "What's a song lyric that you completely misheard for a while?"

Keep ReadingShow less