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Discovering Longevity: Dogs, Dinosaurs, Mollusks

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Good Morning,

In this edition we’re embarking on an intriguing journey into the realms of nature and science, to uncover what they can teach us about human longevity.

We’ll first look at an innovative development in veterinary medicine: a drug nearing FDA approval that promises to extend the lives of our canine companions. This breakthrough offers more than just hope for pet lovers; it’s a potential game-changer in the field of human anti-aging research. Then, we’ll travel back in time to the age of dinosaurs to examine a unique theory suggesting that our ancient ancestors’ survival strategies might have inadvertently set the pace for our current aging process. Lastly, we dive into the ocean depths to learn from mollusks, whose varied lifespans and genetic makeup could hold vital clues to unlocking the secrets of longevity.

So, let’s delve into these fascinating stories and see what lessons we can learn from our furry friends, prehistoric past, and undersea neighbors.

Let’s take a trip to the past to understand our future … 


First Longevity Drug Nears FDA Approval (For Dogs) (Freethink)

Loyal is on the brink of a major breakthrough with the near approval of LOY-001, the first anti-aging drug for dogs by the FDA. This drug targets the growth hormone IGF-1, found in higher levels in larger dog breeds, which are known to have shorter lifespans due to selective breeding. By reducing IGF-1 levels, LOY-001 aims to extend not just the lifespan but also the healthspan of these dogs. 

This development is significant for human longevity research as well, as dogs are considered excellent models for studying human aging. The approval of LOY-001 could set a regulatory precedent for similar treatments in humans, opening new avenues in the quest for extending healthy human life. Loyal’s work highlights the intricate connection between selective breeding, health, and lifespan, offering a potential parallel in understanding human longevity.

The Connection Between Dinosaurs and Human Longevity (University of Birmingham)

In a compelling theory, Professor João Pedro de Magalhães from the University of Birmingham proposes the “longevity bottleneck hypothesis.” This intriguing idea links the reign of dinosaurs over 100 million years ago to the accelerated ageing process in mammals, including humans. He suggests that during the Mesozoic Era, the constant threat from dinosaurs forced early mammals into rapid reproduction, leading to the loss of longevity genes. 

This evolutionary pressure has potentially etched a faster ageing process into our genetic code. Remarkably, while humans are among the longest-living species, we still age faster than many reptiles. This hypothesis not only offers a unique perspective on our biological ageing but also suggests why mammals may be more susceptible to ageing-related diseases like cancer, highlighting the profound impact of our evolutionary past on current health challenges.

Mollusks May Hold The Secrets of Longevity (Earth)

In a groundbreaking study by the University of Bologna, researchers are turning to bivalve mollusks like clams, mussels, and oysters to unlock longevity secrets. These mollusks, with lifespans ranging from a year to over 500 years, exhibit genetic traits potentially crucial to understanding aging. The study focused on 33 species, especially four with notably long lifespans. Researchers identified a network of genes associated with DNA repair, cell death regulation, and hypoxia tolerance, common in long-lived species.

 This points to a shared molecular longevity framework across different species. Notably, genes involved in proteostasis, crucial for handling damaged proteins, emerged as new candidates for longevity research. This work suggests that understanding bivalve genetics could offer insights into extending human lifespans, emphasizing the value of diverse species in aging research.


As we conclude this edition, we’ve journeyed through a captivating mosaic of nature’s teachings and scientific revelations, each offering a unique lens on human longevity. The imminent FDA approval of LOY-001 for dogs marks a significant stride, hinting at the future of human anti-aging research. This development is a testament to the power of cross-species insights in unlocking longevity secrets.

We also ventured into the past with the ‘longevity bottleneck hypothesis’, a theory linking our accelerated aging to ancestral survival tactics during the dinosaur era, a thought-provoking angle on our evolutionary journey.

Further, our exploration took us into the aquatic realm of mollusks, whose diverse lifespans and genetic attributes hold vital clues for extending human life. These stories, from veterinary breakthroughs to ancient survival and marine biology, weave together into a rich narrative, highlighting nature’s profound influence on our quest for a longer, healthier life.

Keep learning,

The Longr Reads Team.


“History can be a great teacher to those who listen with an open heart and an open mind.”

Nelson Mandela


Longr Reads’ of the Week

  • Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones (Netflix)
  • 6 Simple Ways To Tap Into Longevity, The Wellness Trend The One Per Cent Is Obsessed With (Vogue)
  • How old are you, really? The answer is written on your face (National Geographic)
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