Should Animals Be Used for Research: the Ethics of Animal Testing

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If animal trial experiments are not valid in human medicine, then we should not continue to test on animals since it causes undue suffering, with the advancing world there must be a substitute for animal testing. We continue to test medicine on animals even though it isn’t reliable, along with that we take away the freedom from the creature itself. We put all these animals for a 10% chance for the medicine to realistically work. A very questionable, and not moderately new, contention of using animals in the testing and improvement of medical research has left researchers at the intersection on the morals behind the whole operation. The drugs tested aren’t only dangerous but can cause the animal many side effects or even death. The testing isn’t only cruel but extremely ineffective because animals are not humans, not to mention all the torture and the stress the animal’s experience.

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Approximately twenty-six million animals are used in the United States each year for both scientific and commercial testing. The animals that are used for testing differ for each country. These are the more commonly used animals include mice, fish, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, farm animals, birds, cats, dogs, mini-pigs, and nonhuman primates (monkeys, and in some countries, chimpanzees). We put all these animals in cages and lock them up when they should be free. After such an excess of testing The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has noted that 92 percent of all drugs that are shown to be safe and effective in animal tests fail in human trials because the drugs are ineffective or are dangerous. As this video shows not all things tested in the labs will go as predicted. There are almost 1,000,000 genetic differences between types of mice, imagine the differences between mice and humans. After all, you are creating the cure for humans, not the mice. Furthermore, analysts use animals to test for human medicine even though not all animals get the numerous amount of illnesses people do, such as major types of heart diseases, a variety of cancers, HIVs, asthma, and nearly 100 more.

Humans are completely different from animals not only do we live in a different environment but we also respond to diseases very differently as well. We consume different materials which can make, unlike side effect, that the researchers may not be able to create in the lab. Of the small percentage of drugs approved for human use, half end up being relabeled because of side effects that were not identified in tests on animals since we are completely different in many ways. We only share some genetic material with other animals such as chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, cows, mice, cats, and monkeys, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it is expressed in the same way. For example, a recent study which compared the activity of human genes important for sepsis, trauma, and burns with equivalent mouse genes revealed that humans and mice use very different sets of genes to cope with these insults. This explains why 150 drugs that successfully treated sepsis-like conditions in mice failed in human clinical trials. This shows even though we have a small percentage that is successful in animal testing still have unpredictable outcomes on humans. For example, monkeys treated with a therapeutic antibody (anti-CD28 monoclonal antibody TGN1412) did not predict the potentially fatal immune response that was triggered in humans. 

The scientific community has also recently concluded that research on chimpanzees, our closest genetic relative, is superfluous and is being eliminated. Even though we keep the animals in labs and try to replicate human life, we need to keep in mind that we are exposed to not similar bacteria and germs that humans may be exposed to. These bacteria and germs can produce an unexpected reaction from the medication. Including all that there are also other factors that come into play that is almost impossible to replicate on animals those are smoking, drinking, and obesity. These factors may easily affect the efficiency of medication for someone with cancer. Even though this testing opens up new investigations and helps us make the medicine safe for humans, it still isn’t the best approach we have better solutions. 

Scientists and researchers are looking for better models to study and test the medication on since the animal model isn’t as reliable anymore. As I have mentioned before that mice itself as a species as more than 1,000,000 genetic differences, but the problem researchers face is that they aren’t certain which one of those genetic difference will translate function into humans. This is one of the reasons why we need to study on human tissues and move towards finding a model to research on that will be able to duplicate a human body. This type of model is effective, better, and will move us towards our end goal which is medicine for humans. It helps us move into the future more efficiently rather than using the old outdated model of using animals. Analysts cannot be 100% certain that it will cure that disease or even have an effect, this testing demonstrates to us that there is a possibility for it to be either enhanced or a shot for it to work. It isn’t that we have never used humans to test on, we have. No matter how many tests analysts do on animals there is no guaranteed success. For us to be certain we would need to test on humans. For every 9 out of 10 new medications turn out to be unsafe or ineffective.

Researchers have found that they can study medical conditions that cannot be replicated in the lab, on human tissues if we are willing to donate. This way they can be more successful, along with that we aren’t spending all that money just to discover that the medication doesn’t work on humans or that it has too many side effects. With human tissue that will be donated analysts can put cells with the problem in the part of the body and further study it more closely to find a solution. Through vital organs, using humans cells and genes, with bio-engineering and 3D printing, scientist have made models of organs for greater human relevance. With the 3D model we can further test medication more effectively and it will be more human-like. Even though labs have animal testing, still analysts cannot reproduce things such as smoking and cancer caused by it, many humans still continue to suffer from. We need to look deeper into models that can do this. This is the 21st century we have invented many successful things. 

A robot of some sort which is basically a human, I personally believe this is possible if we can replicate a heart then we can also do this. With this, we can move away from animal testing and further advance our knowledge towards more human-like models. Although these creatures keep being tested by researchers for a human solution, the test revelations are not sufficient since the animals don’t have a vague DNA as people. After many tests, we cannot be certain of success, but we still put these poor animals that can’t defend themselves, we put through so much pain and suffering. We need to move on and move towards using more human-like models for more accurate results. Models like the 3D model of a vital organ and every small cell in it can help us replicate a human, as this video shows. Furthermore, we can work towards eliminating the cruelty and suffering of these animals.

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