Essay Example on Animal research has played a vital part in every medical breakthrough









Animal research has played a vital part in nearly every medical breakthrough over the last 100 years according to The California Biomedical Research Association https animal testing procon org Also Understanding Animal Research stated that nearly every Nobel prize winner in Physiology or Medicine since 1901 has relied on animal data for their research The first Nobel prize winner to use animal testing was Emil von Behring who was awarded in 1901 for his work in 1898 in which he used a mix of toxin and antitoxin in horses to create immunity against diphtheria https www nobelprize org Some other examples of medical advances that used animal testing are HIV cancer asthma vaccines antibiotics high blood pressure and organ transplants according to the CBRA http www ca biomed org Animals are very genetically similar to humans chimpanzees share 99 of DNA with humans and mice share 98 http www ca biomed org They share common systems circulatory nervous etc and organs heart lungs etc that work very similar to the human version if not almost identically 

The similarity also means that they usually are affected by the same diseases or conditions as we are This makes them fitting substitutes for humans in medical research Additionally this same similarity means that animals may also benefit from the solutions that are discovered through animal testing Some examples of this are rabies distemper feline leukemia infectious hepatitis virus tetanus and heartworm treatment http www ca biomed org Animals being surrogates for humans in medical research has saved lives where a medication would have had an unknown side effect or where a control group was needed If we were not able to use animals in those situations there would certainly have been many more human deaths in the medical research field And since human life is usually valued over animal life in today's society it would be accepted as a necessity to preserve human life sites evergreen edu anthrozoology original article www psychologytoday com simplified Thalidomide is an example where animal testing was used but not all necessary tests were done and when pregnant women used it as a way to prevent morning sickness it caused serious birth defects in the babies limbs of the affected women 

Now a drug must be tested on pregnant animals and can take eight to twelve years to be approved by the FDA https helix northwestern edu Animals often have a shorter lifespan than humans mice average two to three years while humans average 79 years This allows researchers to study the effects of diseases and treatments over entire life cycles ex when the organism is a fetus or when it is older and weaker and how it affects the future generations of the animal Observing this over several human life cycles would be very difficult and time consuming Some bring up the counterpoint that animal testing may be considered cruel and inhuman According to Humane Society International animals used in experiments are commonly subjected to force feeding forced inhalation food and water deprivation prolonged periods of physical restraint the infliction of burns and other wounds to study the healing process and the infliction of pain to study its effects and remedies https animal testing procon org But Animal research is highly regulated to protect animals In 1966 the federal Animal Welfare Act was put into place AWA makes sure minimum housing standards are met such as housing size temp food water and other things 

Regular inspections by veterinarians to inspect living conditions are mandatory also all animal testing proposals must be approved by an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee In addition to the AWA state and county regulations are often in place https animal testing procon org https vittana org Also according to Natures Genetics stressed or crowded animals produce unreliable research results so it would be in the researchers best interest to treat the animals they are testing as well as possible to make sure of the most accurate results https www nature com articles ng0506 497 Another counterpoint some may present is that alternative methods for testing have been created Examples of these are cell cultures in a petri dish or microdosing which is administering doses so low they are unlikely to produce large effects but allow the cellular response to be studied Artificial skin and computer models reconstructions are also used and Microfluidic chips which are lined with human cells and recreate the functions of human organs are in development https animal testing procon org But humans and animals are highly complex and sometimes the alternatives are not sufficient to provide information needed in research 

Observing cell cultures in a petri dish doesn't provide researchers with the chance to study the whole body system or organs Conditions such as blindness can not be studied in cell cultures Computer models can be inaccurate if the information used to create them was incorrect Even the best computers can not accurately simulate complex organs such as the brain https animal testing procon org To conclude animal testing is necessary because history shows that it led to many medical breakthroughs and probably will lead to more and animal testing has saved many human lives Also animals make appropriate research subjects because some animals are very similar to humans and can be observed throughout their whole life because some animals life spans are much shorter than humans Animal testing sometimes benefits the animal as well as the human because some treatments can be used on animals too Animals at times provide better information than alternative testing methods Animal testing is much more heavily regulated now so it is safer for the animal

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