Animals are often used in Biomedical Research, for a variety of reasons. Before explaining the reason for this, the term “Biomedical Research” should be defined.
Biomedical Research is a broad category of science. Biomedical Research tries to find ways to prevent and treat diseases in people and animals. Biomedical Research encompasses many areas of both life and physical science. Using advanced tools and techniques, researchers study biological diseases, to try and find a possible treatment or cure for that ailment.
However, the field of Biomedical Research would not exist without the use of animals. Animals are essential to the development of new methods for diagnosing and treating diseases that affect humans and animals. Scientists can use animals to learn more about various health problems, and to make sure medical treatments are safe. Researchers need to understand diseases before they can treat them, so monitoring their affect on animals is a great way to understand health problems. Furthermore, some diseases can only be monitored in living organisms. It would not be practical to use humans as test subjects, so an animal is the only choice.
Animals are also biologically similar to humans, so they are ideal test subjects. They suffer from some of the same ailments that humans do. Also, they have relatively short life spans, which means that the animal can be monitored until its death. This also means that several generations of an animal can be tested for the same health problem. Also, many animals have a faster reproduction rate than humans, so many generations can be tested. Certain animals are also bred specifically for the purpose of being test subjects, so scientists never run out of organisms to test medicines on. However, the prominent reason animals are used as test subjects is because people feel it is wrong to test medicines on humans.
Another reason why animals are used is because their environments can be altered very easily. Most Biomedical experiments need to incorporate one variable at a time to an experiment setting, which would be hard to do with human test subjects. Large populations of animals can also be controlled very easily, such as mice or rabbits.
Using animals in Biomedical Research has played a big part in the advancement and progression of medicine and technology. The study of animals in Biomedical Research has helped unlock the secrets of Genetics, and better understand new diseases such as AIDS. Many of us today owe our health to the research done on animal test subjects. The research gained from these animals has helped control and treat many deadly diseases.
If animals were not used to test new products and medicines, the advancement of medical technology would effectively be halted. The public would be afraid to try out new products that were not tested. Throughout history, there have been many cases of medicines causing damage to people because of insufficient animal testing. For example, an antibacterial medicine was sold in 1937 that did not have adequate testing done. It resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people.
However, the testing of animals for Biomedical Research is much debated. A large number of people are opposed to testing new medicines and treatments on animals, because they feel this is inhumane and cruel. It is true that some animals do die or become injured because of Biomedical Research, however the animals are treated very humanely, and the medicine and treatments are applied humanely as well.
People that are opposed to the testing of animals feel that they have reason to be against this practice, however they fail to realize that there is no alternative. If animals were to be exempt from testing, no new medicines and treatments would be made. People would become suspicious of medical products, and the general health of the world would fall.
In conclusion, animals are used in Biomedical Research because they are biologically similar to humans, they experience many of the same illnesses as humans, and the testing of humans would be unethical. Although the topic is much debated, there is no doubt that the use of animals in Biomedical Research has been very beneficial to the Health industry, and it affects each and every one of us every day.