|MadSci Network: Medicine|
Thank you for your question.
It is a very good one.
Scientist do a lot of work with cells of various types (human and animal) to try to figure out how to cure or prevent disease.
The problem is that if this is a cell that is normally on the INSIDE of the body, like a liver cell or a blood cell, it is not possible to create exactly the same environment outside of a living human or animal.
Because of this, it is necessary to do some (but not all) experiments using animals.
Like yourself, I do not like the idea of experimenting on animals, but I think that it is something we must do in order to prevent or cure human disease.
One thing that I am very happy about is that a number of scientists are working on ways to use fewer animals.
I think this is great, but I don't think we will able to get away from animal experiments, at least not in the near future.
I hope that this helps.
[Moderator's Note: We have some other answers in our archives that address the topic of animal models in medical research. Take a look at 944222793.Gb and 978982439.Me.
In addition, you can use our search engine to look for related answers: http://www.madsci.org/MS_search.html
I can also suggest that you vist the US Government's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website (www.fda.gov) to see why drugs intended for humans and pets are tested in animal models. You can find some of that information here, here, here , and here, and can also read about the FDA guidlines for the testing of cosmetics in animal models. SM -- Mod.]
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