MadSci Network: Medicine

Re: why dont scientist use cell's intsead of animals?

Date: Tue Nov 6 08:18:43 2007
Posted By: Gabriel Keith Harris, Assistant Professor, Department of Food Science
Area of science: Medicine
ID: 1194284174.Me

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:

I can also suggest that you vist the US Government's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website ( 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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