Over the past few centuries scientists have tried to solve the mysteries of disease through a plethora of different testing methods. The most popular method that is in effect presently is animal based tests. While these tests are the most commonly used, are they the best in terms of morality and accuracy? Animal tests inflict forms of torture upon defenseless creatures in order to discover the solution to medical problems. Testing animals provide, for the most part, inaccurate results, while cheaper and more moral alternatives exist.
If the scientific community funded research on alternative testing methods nstead of animal tests, we could do away with the inhumane animal tests and move on to more accurate testing methods that do not require the torture of animals Although animal based tests are not always the most accurate form of testing, I can not deny that it has led to some very important medical breakthroughs. Scientists have discovered several life saving medical procedures and drugs using these tests including: insulin, blood transfusions, asthma inhalers, penicillin, etc.
These are all very commonly used discoveries in the medical realm, that have saved countless lives over the years. Without nsulin, diabetes would mean the end for several of its victims. Blood transfusions are the solution for several life threatening medical emergencies. Penicillin is a medical marvel that makes possibly fatal infections such as pneumonia and scarlet fever easily able to be cured. Although alternative methods exist, scientists continue to lean toward animal experiments because of two reasons.
The first reason is animals have relatively short life spans in comparison to humans; therefore, we are able to observe the effects certain drugs and treatments have on animals through a complete life cycle. This allows scientists to valuate all of the effects that will occur over time in a relatively short period of time. The second reason animal tests are favored over alternative methods is that they have fully functional body systems. This allows scientists to observe the effects drugs have on the body when they go through certain bodily functions.
Another reason animals are used in medical research is because they are genetically similar to humans. If you compare the DNA of humans to the DNA of chimpanzees, you will notice that they are ninety-nine percent similar. Why would scientists pursue alternative methods when test subjects hat are very genetically similar are available. Chimpanzees’ bodies react to medical drugs and treatments similarly to humans’ bodies because of these genetic similarities. With that being said, it is reasonable for scientists to think that animals with similar DNA strands will yield accurate results.
Scientists use chimpanzees to test drugs because the areas of the body affected are similar to those of human’s. If cosmetics are being tested, other animals are used as test subjects. For instance, rabbits are used to test the effects certain products have on the eyes. This is because rabbit eyes respond similarly to chemicals that irritate the eyes as human eyes do. By using animals with body parts that are similar to the human version of that body part, scientists are able to achieve accurate results.
While animal based tests are responsible for many medical breakthroughs, most drugs that pass in animal trials do not make it through clinical trial stages. Certain animals are similar to humans, but because they are not one-hundred percent similar there is room for results to be inaccurate. A great example of a successful animal trial that work as planned with umans was Thalidomide. Thalidomide, a sleeping pill introduced after WWII, seemed like a success at first, but it was later discovered the drug was linked birth deformities.
So the results from animals to humans are inconsistent and a waste of time as well as resources. We spend approximately fifteen billion dollars on animal tests annually. If we were to switch to alternative methods, we could save a lot of the money, animal lives, and possibly get more accurate results. After all, why are we killing, poisoning, and torturing animals in the name of science, if we can not get reliable results consistently. There are multiple methods we can use to test the effects drugs will have on the body. Animal testing is not essential for us to test new drugs.
There is no definitive proof that animal testing was required to discover some of its finest breakthroughs. For instance, we could test the effects of drugs on human cells in petri dishes instead, and possibly get more accurate results. This method may yield more accurate results than animal tests, simply because it utilizes human cells. Another testing method we have is virtual computer models of human body parts. They re able to predict the possible outcomes a drug could have on a human without endangering an animal to see how it could possibly affect a human.
Both of these methods are more cost efficient than animal tests and show great promise. While these are the two best alternatives we have at this moment in time, the future holds great potential in drug testing for mankind. Science is on its way to discovering how to create synthetic organs. Once this is achieved animals will no longer be needed to test drugs. Artificial organs would show scientists exactly how certain drugs affect the human body and if they are safe for eople to use. The use of these organs would revolutionize how we test medicines and leave very little, if any room for unreliable results.
So if the discovery of synthetic organs is in the near future, why don’t we pursue it? We could use the part of the fifteen billion we use to fund animal tests, to fund research into synthetic organs. This would save several animals from being experimented on, while at the same time bringing us closer to a better method for testing drugs. Why not attempt to solve the mystery behind synthetic organs, instead continuing to test on nimals which often yield inaccurate results. The direction we are currently going in often kills animals and wastes money with nothing to show for it.
Once we succeed in developing these organs, we will save billions originally used on animal tests. Which we can use to fund other projects that could possibly benefit us more. Several animals are tested upon in torture like methods annually. Many times these tests do not even yield applicable results. Why not employ the use of one of the alternative methods we have? Or move onto research into a new testing methods such as the synthetic organs. Once we chieve this, animal testing will be of no use and medical breakthroughs will be at an all time high.
The time and money needed to make this discovery happen would be repaid ten times the amount in medical breakthroughs. The scientific community should redirect funds into research on synthetic organs from the funds we use to pay for animal tests. By taking strides toward the future, we would bring about immense change in how we test drugs. This would save many animal lives and make medicine tests more accurate than ever. With so many possible advantages right in front of us, why not reach for them?