First, fountain of youth for dogs, then humans?

A company called Rejuvenate Bio is working on gene therapy for dogs to make them live longer with an eye to doing the same for human beings.

Co-founded by George Church of Harvard Medical School, the prominent synthetic biologist, the company is already carrying out preliminary tests on beagles by adding new DNA instructions to their bodies.

“We have already done a bunch of trials in mice and we are doing some in dogs, and then we’ll move on to humans,” Church said.

But the company is not looking for publicity just yet, with details on the trials sketchy.

Using a patent application by Harvard, interviews with investors and dog breeders, and public comments made by the founders, MIT Technology Review put together a portrait of the efforts to discover the fountain of youth through better synthetic genes by pursuing funding for the project the $72-billion-a-year U.S. pet industry.

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