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Is scientific research becoming more effective?

The progress that has been made in finding more dependable methods of drugs being used safely on people has seen tests using human cells and tissues as well as advanced computer simulations which have been designed to emulate the human metabolism.

These methods of drug screening are gradually able to replace many animal experimentation tests. There is no doubt that the investigation of disease that affects the human race does not carry any significant results if tests are undertaken on animals as pathogens and immune responses are actually species specific.

Although some quarters might indicate that animal research is beneficial to human health, certain facts might indicate a different story.

For example, angel dust otherwise known as PCP causes paranoia in humans but can cause sedation in chimpanzees.

People have been killed by isoproterenol yet the effect on monkeys has never been satisfactorily established.

Monkeys that were subjected to the testing of Flosint which is an arthritis medication were able to tolerate it well but contrary to this, humans were known to have died from this particular drug.

Interesting enough the chemotherapy drug, Actinomycin-D, causes death in monkeys yet monkeys are not affected by any of the main human carcinogens.

Another intriguing fact is that when drugs which were known to cause birth defects were tested on pregnant monkeys the outcome proved to be that 70% of the drugs were safely tested on monkeys.

There is no doubt that there seems to be a degree of preconception involved in animal experimentation to further human disease and illness. This emanates from the varying results found in the different species. In fact, only 2% of human illnesses have ever been apparent in any animal and this remains to be an unresolved problem.

So with this unpredictability in mind, false results are often concluded and the uncertainty of whether a product is suitable for humans is still unproven and unclear.

It is apparent that the startling scale of efficient animal testing still remains unreliable. Despite the fact that various studies have been conducted and the unfavourable outcomes known, there appears to be a certain level of complacency surrounding the considerable high proportion of failure in animal experimentation.

Yet animal research continues due to the fact that the drug industry enables drugs to be authorised quickly. In addition, because animals are renown to provide different results this usually guarantees access into the market where the drugs can be financially viable. However, when drugs do have an adverse effect there is always a legal loophole as negligence is difficult to prove when any form of animal testing is involved.

While clinical research has more absolute value it does require planning, expertise and a certain degree of time. By all accounts, it appears that animal experimentation can provide results but it does not mean that they are reliable. Yet this vital fact is often overlooked or simply ignored.

Although animal research is increasingly being opposed it still remains a necessary practice in several areas. However, it does seem that experimental drugs are not required to be tested on animals prior to being used on human beings so at least this is one area which does not require animal experimentation.

We can only hope that other areas will find a suitable replacement in the very near future and result in the end of animal research.