by Jennifer Mishler
Categories: Animals.
Photo: Flickr/Creative Commons

A team of scientists believe they have created a drug that may be the key to a longer life. Until the drug is approved for use in humans, it may be tested on your furry friends.

According to the story in the Daily Mail, the drug works by protecting telomeres, or sections of DNA believed to be the key to affecting the aging process, thereby increasing lifespan. However, the drug is still not considered safe for humans, and may be tested by adding it to pet foods.

Dr. Bill Andrews, head of the team of researchers and founder of Sierra Sciences, says that this could be a medical milestone. “Inducing cells to produce telomerase would be a great medical advance,” Dr Andrews said. The substances we have found can achieve this but we have to be cautious and there is no chance of getting medical approval for human use for some years. For pets, however, the rules are much less stringent – and the market is potentially huge.”

There is already a big market for increasing and improving the lives of beloved pets. New medications are available to improve quality of life for older dogs and cats, and there are even exercise machines made for pets! But how do you feel about the new drug being tested out on your animal buddies?

About Jennifer Mishler

Jennifer Mishler is a writer, and a vegan and animal activist. When she's not writing, you can often find her volunteering or advocating for animal, environmental and human rights causes. Along with writing for Ecorazzi, she has contributed writing for nonprofits like Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and enjoys blogging. She resides in the Washington, DC area (and loves all the vegan food it has to offer). Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @jennygonevegan.

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  • Sonia

    So we’ll have a growing population plus people living longer therefore using more resources to provide for them. Yeah that sounds like a great idea!

    • Karina

      Agreed. This is absolutely disgusting. And if people want to live longer they should follow healthier diets instead of using drugs that are tested on animals that have absolutely ZERO use for this garbage.

      • Dwight

        No no no, you don’t get it. These drugs will not make old live longer but make old young again over time. Check out the Harvard nature telomerase mice study released recently where they did the same in that experiment.Their organs and all the rest of them became young again and they were about the human equivalent of 90 when they “reversed” them. Say goodbye to retirement and health care costs. This fixes diseases and is the ultimate healthy lifestyle.

  • Ashley

    If it isn’t safe for humans, who says its safe for pets?!?! This article makes me so upset. Animal testing is terrible, yet it continues. There are bound to by side-effects and no one can predict how bad these side-effects will be.
    I know its unrealistic to hope that they don’t test on animals because this article basically states they will, but I at least hope if they put it in pet food, that they put a label or some kind of warning on whatever brands they put it in. We at least deserve to know what food its in (SO WE CAN AVOID THEM)!
    I’m all for science helping SAVE lives, but I feel like lengthening lives past the current lengthn is just unnecessary. And things are bound to go wrong when trying to figure out HOW to lengthen lives & causing deathly AND/OR painful side-effects to eventually lengthen lives is not something I’ll EVER approve of.

    • Dwight

      FDA says NOTHING not occurring naturally is safe for humans without years and years and billions in testing first. It benefits the big drug companies. There are some fast easy tests that can be done to give a very good guess on if a substance is toxic or not and think about it these will not be bad for pets, as that would not sell and make them money and would in fact invite lawsuits from the pet owners if they did harm them. This should make the pets young again (not puppy young) and very happy and healthy.

      The real secret here is the owners of these pets, and they if they choose can start consuming these new drugs too to get the same results. It is a back door way of getting the cure to humans fast I think, and animals. Humans have already been taking such a product for about 4 years now with very good results, but it comes from a Chinese herbal plant so is sold as a nutrient bypassing the FDA but is super expensive.

      • Michael dEstries

        Dwight, what’s the herb you mentioned above?

  • Rat King

    Again, the vivisection lobby is planning a complete nonsense – and by the way: dogs and cats are not the closest relative of human species! Why should it work on them and not on chimpanzees? Why always sacrificing dogs and cats? It is the dog who saves human life during catastrophes and man’s ingratitude is absolutely unfair! They don’t make invasive experiments on chimps anymore because there are some people claiming that they are humanlike – and for every chimp leaving a lab there is entering a dog or a cat! Hence testing on animals has to stop on all species – not just great apes, because they are obviously our closest relatives and a poor testing model – why then in God’s name should it work on dogs and cats? Stop this nonsense and give the world peace – peace for ALL living beings! ALL LIVING BEINGS – not only great apes: nowadays this is trendy and I refuse to jump on this wagon! Save ALL animals – you hear me – Jane Goodall – ALL ANIMALS!

    • Dwight

      Different species of animals age for different reasons. Humans, cats, and dogs they think age and get sick from short malfunctioning telomeres on our DNA strands in our cells. This they think causes cancers and most every disease we know of outside of bacterias, mold, or viruses. There are certain species such as lobsters that never show any sign of aging and never die from it and they produce telomerase naturally and always have long telomeres.

      Some things such as mice age by a different mechanism, so even though they have long telomeres and produce telomerase they still age and die although they might live slightly longer and be healthier if given this product.

  • Vegan Sueshi

    They should test this drug on people in prison, the people who are for the rest of there life in prison we don’t need them we don’t miss them they are in there with a good reason so why not test it on them. This is just a stupid idea to test it on animals, and later in life this durgs is for humans. Why can’t they just test it on people.

    • Rat King

      They are already testing on people but in the third world – because every animal testing needs further testing on people as animal testing is not giving sure results!!!

  • Sonia

    So Dwight are you actually one of the scientists working on this product? Or are you benefiting monetarily or otherwise by spewing what you believe to be logical explanations for this insanely unnecessary drug?

    “Check out the Harvard nature telomerase mice study…” That’s exactly what some of the people here don’t want, for a drug to be tested on animals. Did you read the article and responses?

  • Erin Elizabeth

    Sadly I know and have spent time with Bill Andrews at conferences and am VERY disappointed. VERY….

  • Katherine

    don’t people know if you don’t eat meat you can live 10 more years on average. why test on animals when you can do small things to live longer

  • Rob

    Arf! I’d like some for my 185 pound, 2 legged dog…