Of Mice and Men: The Benefits of Animal Testing
Animal testing has unmistakably swept the globe in effort to further scientific exploration. It has been a useful tool of drug testing, cosmetic testing, xenotransplantation, behavioral education and other informative methodical studies. From the tens to one hundred million or more animals are used in scientific experiments around the world per annum (1). An estimated eighty to eight hundred animals are used to test one drug before it is considered safe for human consumption (1). Although some may have genuine concerns about animal testing- from relevance of data to ethics-many support it because the benefits of animal experimentation to human life far exceeds any negative aspects.
Animal experimentation was first accomplished by the highly acclaimed Aristotle who lived 384-322 BC, which is evidence of how ancient this science is (9). Animal testing was advanced in Moorish Spain by an Arab doctor, Ibn Zurh, who practiced surgery on animals before on patients (9). Drug testing using animals became highly esteemed in the twentieth century. A raspberry flavored poison, Elixir Sulfanilamide, caused mass death of more than one hundred people in 1937, before drug testing on animals on animals was popular (9). A year later, drug testing on animals was required before the drug could be put on shelves (9). Doctors and scientists had limited resources and knowledge prior to what we have now, so what may have seemed crude with today’s standards may have been the only means to advance science at that time.
A current cutting edge science is xenotransplantation. Xenotransplantation is the act of placing nonhuman cells, tissues, or organs in humans (7). The influencing goal behind transplanting animal parts into humans is that there are not enough vital organs for those on the waiting list for organs (7). On average, ten people die every day in the United States alone while for essential organs that will save their lives...
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