Animal research saves lives

SNPRC works closely with regulatory agencies throughout the year to determine best practices to enhance care provided to the primates, for the sake of the animals and the quality of the research programs. While some research questions may adequately be addressed using cell cultures, tissue studies or computer models, which we also employ at Texas Biomed and the SNPRC, research with animals continues to be critical for the advancement of human health. Disease processes are typically complex, involving multiple physiological processes and multiple organ systems that simply require the use of nonhuman primate models.

Animal research saves lives

Trull, Special to the Sentinel Animal research has played a vital role in virtually every major medical advance of the last century -- for both human and animal health. From antibiotics to blood transfusions, from dialysis to organ-transplantation, from vaccinations to chemotherapy, bypass surgery and joint replacement, practically every present-day protocol for the prevention, treatment, cure and control of disease, pain and suffering is based on knowledge attained through research with animals.

Within the American animal-rights movement is a vocal anti-research element that dismisses the importance of animal studies, claiming that the results of animal research can't be applied to human health.

However, physicians and researchers overwhelmingly agree that animal systems provide invaluable and irreplaceable insights into human systems because there are striking similarities between our physiological and genetic systems.


Approximately 95 percent of all lab animals are specialty-bred rats and mice. Non-human primates account for less than one-fourth of 1 percent; dogs and cats combined, less than one-half of 1 percent. The balance includes rabbits, guinea pigs, woodchucks, pigs, sheep, armadillos, leeches, zebra fish, squid, horseshoe crabs, sea snails and Animal research saves lives flies.

Rodents are the animal model of choice for modern medical researchers because they have a naturally short life span -- two to three years -- that allows scientists to observe in "fast forward" what happens during the progress or pathogenesis of a disease.

Advances in genetic engineering have enabled scientists to develop excellent rodent models for research.

The availability of "transgenic mice" which have added genes and "knock-out mice" which have disabled genes has revolutionized our understanding of cancer, Parkinson's disease, cystic fibrosis, heart disease, memory loss, muscular dystrophy and spinal cord injuries.

The so-called "nude mouse" -- lacking a functioning immune system -- has become an incredibly important model for understanding cancer suppression.

Thanks to animal research, many diseases that once killed millions of people every year are either treatable or have been eradicated altogether. Immunizations against polio, diphtheria, mumps, rubella and hepatitis save countless lives, and the survival rates from many major diseases are at an all-time high, thanks to the discovery of new drugs, medical devices and surgical procedures.

According to the American Cancer Society, the fight against cancer has seen 24 significant biomedical advances in the past 30 years.

None of them could have occurred without animal research.

Animals in Research - Southwest National Primate Research Center

Eight of the discoveries required the use of living animals, and virtually all of those that did not use animals relied on information gained from earlier animal studies. Six of the discoveries were recognized with a Nobel Prize, among them: Animal research for animal health also has resulted in many life-saving and life-extending treatments for cats, dogs, farm animals, wildlife and endangered species.

Pacemakers, artificial joints, organ transplants, freedom from arthritic pain, and vaccines for rabies, distemper, parvo virus, infectious hepatitis, anthrax, tetanus and feline leukemia contribute to longer, happier and healthier lives for animals.

New treatments for glaucoma, heart disease, cancer and hip dysplasia can save, extend or enhance the life of a beloved pet, and new reproductive techniques are helping to protect threatened species. In addition to clinical observation and epidemiology, a number of relatively new non-animal procedures and tests have been developed to supplement animal research.

Computer modeling, in vitro and genetic research, and post marketing drug surveillance all serve as valuable adjuncts to basic animal research. But there is no complete alternative to animal research. Still, researchers place a high priority on "The Three Rs" reduction, replacement and refinement.

Here in the United States, our research communities are committed to supporting techniques that: Reduce the number of higher species used.

Replace animals with other models wherever possible. Refine tests to ensure the most humane conditions. Some activists say that humans, not animals, should be used as medical "guinea pigs.ANIMAL RESEARCH HELPS PEOPLE AND HAS RESULTED IN: 1 Animal research: Battle scars.

Nature , () ANIMAL RESEARCH HELPS ANIMALS AND HAS RESULTED IN: 92% of scientists polled in a Nature survey1 agreed that animal research is essential to the advancement of biomedical science. He is a member of Incurably Ill for Animal Research, an organization that provides the patient's perspective on the humane use of animals in biological, medical, and behavioral research and testing.

Patty Wood can be reached at the Washington Association for Biomedical Research, () Animal research saved her life because of treatments developed with animals in the s. As a colleague here at WNPRC, I have loved knowing you and trading anecdotes about out lives.

Animal research saves lives

While you and I have discussed your lupus, and I am constantly amazed at your spirit and perseverance, I am even more in awe now that I know more details. Animal research saves lives It may be unpalatable to some, but testing on animals cannot be totally avoided at present - it and saves lives every day Simon Festing.

Animal research has saved lives, extended life expectancy, and improved the quality of life for both humans and animals by enabling scientists to conduct critical experiments that identified ways to prevent, treat, and cure disease. He is a member of Incurably Ill for Animal Research, an organization that provides the patient's perspective on the humane use of animals in biological, medical, and behavioral research and testing.

Patty Wood can be reached at the Washington Association for Biomedical Research, ()

14 Pros and Cons of Animal Research |