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(CNN) — How do you compare a dog’s age to that of a person? A popular method says you should multiply the dog’s age by 7 to compute how old Fido is in “human years.”

But new research published Thursday in the Cell Systems journal debunks that method. And that’s because the scientists behind a new study say dogs and humans don’t age at the same rate.

Researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine have developed a new formula that takes into account that variance. Tracking molecular changes in the DNA of Labrador retrievers, and in particular “the changing patterns of methyl groups” in their genome, according to a release, the study shows how dogs age at a much faster rate than humans early in their lives, then slow down after reaching maturity.

“This makes sense when you think about it — after all, a nine-month-old dog can have puppies, so we already knew that the 1:7 ratio wasn’t an accurate measure of age,” lead author Trey Ideker is quoted as saying.

Based on the study, a one-year-old dog compares to a 30-year-old human, a four-year-old dog to a 52-year-old human. The rate of aging decreases after dogs turn 7.

The new formula “is the first that is transferable across species,” and scientists plan to test their findings on other dog breeds to study the impact of longevity on their findings, according to a release.

Researchers also believe that observing changes in the methylation patterns before and after the use of anti-aging products could help veterinarians make more informed decisions in terms of diagnostics and treatment.

A graphic in the study makes the age comparisons intuitive and provides some helpful context for dog owners, including the scientists themselves.

“I have a six-year-old dog — she still runs with me, but I’m now realizing that she’s not as ‘young’ as I thought she was,” Ideker is quoted as saying.

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Patrick Mahomes says he hopes to play into his 40s like Tom Brady (Video)

It’s not uncommon for NFL quarterbacks to play into their 40s now and Patrick Mahomes wants to be another quarterback who does just that.

Patrick Mahomes might only be 24 years old, but the reigning Super Bowl MVP is already looking at when he’s older and near the end of his NFL career.

Mahomes appeared as a guest on Undisputed on Wednesday and when asked by Skip Bayless if he could see himself playing at the age of 43, Mahomes said, “That’s the goal.”

Tom Brady is 43-years-old, which is likely why Skip Bayless phrased the question with that particular age in mind.

Mahomes turns 25-years-old in September and has accomplished quite a bit in his two full years as a starter. He won the league MVP in 2018  and made it to the Super Bowl in 2019 while winning the MVP for the big game so no one would be shocked if he was still playing in 19 years.

[email protected]: "Can you imagine yourself playing at age 43?"@PatrickMahomes: "Thats the goal." pic.twitter.com/Zy2xghoE74

— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) August 12, 2020

Patrick Mahomes sure looks like he could be kicking butt well into his 40s, but it’s still too early to tell.

While it’s become more common for quarterbacks to play into their 40s, it’s definitely not a guarantee for anyone, even great signal-callers like Mahomes.

Brady and Drew Brees are both in their 40s and are still doing incredibly well, but both have stayed relatively healthy throughout the course of their career and that’ll be key for Mahomes if he wants to do the same. He was banged up for a few games last season but looked better than ever upon his return.

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Mahomes signed a ten-year extension last month that ties him to the Kansas City Chiefs through the 2031 season. When that deal is up, the former first-rounder will be 36 years old and it’s very possible he gets another decent-sized contract if he’s still wheeling and dealing at that point of his career.

Next: Patrick Mahomes Gets Chiefs Fans Pumped for Football

A lot can happen between now and when Mahomes is 43 (which will be in 2039) like injuries or inconsistencies and that could stand between him and his goal of playing until he’s 43. Brady has been able to keep at it because he’s stayed healthy, so that’s the big thing if Mahomes wants to be just like TB12.

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