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THE IMPORTANCE OF ANIMALS IN BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH ROBERT W. LEADER* and DENNIS STARKt For more than 100 years, animals have been utilized extensively in research laboratories to assist scientists in gaining new knowledge about the function and malfunction of the human animal [1, 2]. Many voices are now speaking out concerning issues related to this use of animals in biomedical research [3-5]. Some challenge the usefulness of animals in research and urge that alternatives be found to substitute for most, ifnot all, animal experiments. There are those who would entirely eliminate animals from research. Some would impose more restrictive controls; others feel that there are already too many controls that are likely to impede greatly the progress and benefits of biomedical research. There is litde compromise among the various factions. Each presents its view to legislative bodies, the press, and the public in order to influence the lawmaking process. Extreme actions, including raids on animal research facilities, are sometimes taken to capture public attention. The major thrust of this paper will be to address the importance of animals in biomedical research past, present, and future. Our desire is to cite several examples in which the usefulness of laboratory animals in establishing knowledge essential for major biomedical advances is without dispute. In addition, discussion will be given to the progress being made toward alternative methods of testing. It is to be hoped that such developing methods will prove to be valid replacements for some laboratory animals in the future. As shown in table 1 [6-8], animal experiments have been an integral component of many research efforts leading to the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine in 54 of the 76 years in which it has been granted. AU ?Professor, Department of Pathology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824. tAssociate Professor, The Rockefeller University, 1230 York Avenue, New York, New York 10021.© 1987 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved. 0031-5982/87/3004-0547$01.00 470 Robert W. Leader and Dennis Stark ¦ Animals in Biomedical Research TABLE 1 Nobel Prizes Utilizing Animal Research Year Scientist Animal Contribution 1901 . . . von Behring 1902 .. 1904.. 1905.. 1906. . 1907.. 1908.. 1910 .. 1912.. 1913.. 1919.. 1920. . 1922.. 1923.. 1924.. 1928.. 1929.. 1932 .. 1934.. 1935.. 1936.. 1938.. 1939.. Ross Pavlov Koch Golgi Cajal Laveran Metchnikov Ehrlich Kossel Carrel Richet Bordet Krogh Hill Banting Macleod Einthoven Nicolle Eijkman Hopkins Sherrington Adrian Whipple Murphy Minot Spemann Dale Loewi Heymans Domagk Guinea pig Pigeon Dog Cow Sheep Dog Horse Bird Bird Fish Guinea pig Bird Dog Dog Rabbit Guinea pig Horse Rabbit Frog Frog Dog Rabbit Fish Dog Monkey Kg Rat Mouse Chicken Dog Cat Dog Amphibian Cat Frog Bird Reptile Dog Mouse Rabbit Development of diphtheria antiserum Understanding of malaria life cycle Animal responses to various stimuli Studies of pathogenesis of tuberculosis Characterization of the central nervous system Role of protozoa as cause of disease Immune reactions and functions of phagocytes Knowledge of cell chemistry through work on proteins including nuclear substances Surgical advances in the suture and grafting of blood vessels Mechanisms of anaphylaxis Mechanisms of immunity Discovery of capillary motor regulating system Consumption of oxygen and lactic acid metabolism in muscle Discovery of insulin and mechanism of diabetes Mechanism of the electrocardiograph Pathogenesis of typhus Discovery of antineuritic and growth stimulating vitamins Functions of neurons Liver therapy for anemia Organizer effect in embryonic development Chemical transmission of nerve impulses Role of the sinus and aortic mechanisms in regulation of respiration Antibacterial effects of prontosil Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 30, 4 ¦ Summer 1987 \ 471 TABLE 1 (continued) Year Scientist Animal Contribution 1943.. 1944.. 1945.. 1947 .. 1949.. 1950. . 1951.. 1952.. 1953.. 1954.. 1955.. 1957 .. 1960.. 1961.. 1963.. 1964.. 1966.. 1967.. 1968.. 1970 .. Dam Doisy Erlanger Gasser Fleming Chain Florey Carl Cori Gerty Cori Houssay Hess Moniz Kendall Hench Reichstein Theiler Waksman Krebs Lipmann Enders Weller Robbins Theorell Bovet Burnet Medawar von Bekesy Eccles Hodgkin Huxley Bloch Lynen Rous Huggins Harttline Granit Wald Holley Khorana Nirenberg Katz von Euler Axelrod Rat Dog Chick Mouse Cat Mouse Frog Toad Dog Cat Cow Monkey Mouse Guinea pig Pigeon Monkey Mouse Horse Dog Rabbit Rabbit Guinea pig Cat Frog Squid Crab Rat Rat Rabbit Hen Chicken Rabbit...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-8795
Print ISSN
0031-5982
Pages
pp. 470-485
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-07
Open Access
No
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