Avid readers of scientific news will be familiar with the substantial use of animal models in biomedical research.
From nutrients to most cancers studies and research on metabolism, scientists and newshounds alike draw parallels between animals and humans.
However, troubles can get up when researchers make predictions about human fitness based on the results of such studies.
Scientists check with this idea as clinical relevance. Many biomedical grant investment companies require researchers to justify using animal fashions by predicting how likely the results are to make an impact on human fitness.
Meanwhile, newshounds write catchy information headlines to attract our attention, occasionally failing to critically assess how clinically relevant a examine is; or worse, they leave out the truth that scientists carried out the work in animals, now not people.
The debate about the medical relevance of animal fashions is ongoing, and a Twitter account referred to as @justsayinmice — which inspires social media users to retweet news stories that do not simply country if consequences are from an animal version or human volunteers with the caption “IN MICE” — recently fuelled it.
Can we count on that conducting studies in animal models will reveal insights about our personal fitness, and who’s to blame when a news tale includes sweeping statements approximately clinical relevance?
In this story of mice and men (in lab coats), we discover how animal studies have contributed to biomedical advances, and why some scientists hold that animal models harbor no clinical relevance.
Animal models date returned to ‘2000 BC’
Before we delve into the early days of animal studies, I am going to add in a disclaimer. During my time as a research scientist, before joining Medical News Today, I was worried about numerous research that used a huge pig model of wound recuperation.
Although I even have made each attempt to method this topic factually, I can’t assure that my stories have not left me without some stage of bias.
Kirk Maurer, from the Center for Comparative Medicine and Research at Dartmouth College in Lebanon, NH, and Fred Quimby, from Rockefeller University in New Durham, NH, talk the records of animal models in biomedical research at length in bankruptcy in the 2015 book Laboratory Animal Medicine.
“The earliest written records of animal experimentation date to 2000 BC whilst Babylonians and Assyrians documented surgical treatment and medicines for people and animals,” they write.
Through the centuries, animals found out a lot of the records we expect as factual nowadays.
From Galen’s discovery within the 2d century AD that blood, no longer air, flows via our arteries to the identity in 2006 of 4 genes that, whilst activated, can revert any cell into an embryonic stem cell-like kingdom, animal models are on the coronary heart of medical progress within the biosciences.
The key term here is animal version. Maurer and Quimby describe the efforts of several authors to define the “best” animal model. “Perhaps the maximum crucial single feature of the model is how closely it resembles the unique human circumstance or system,” they give an explanation for.
Yet any version will only cross to this point, they admit: “A version serves as a surrogate and is not necessarily the same to the problem being modeled.”