Animal Models of Disease: Could Science Do Without Them?

August 12, 2009

( -- The use of animals in scientific research continues to be one of the most controversial issues in scientific research. Now Viewpoints, a new series of papers published in the European Journal of Immunology, brings experts from across the globe to decide if the ends justify the means.

Viewpoints brings together a panel of experts to answer the question: Where would scientific research be without the invaluable information provided to us by animals? From the eradication of smallpox to the latest vaccines against the human papilloma virus (HPV), animal models of human disease has proven to be an invaluable reference, but could the same research be conducted through other means?

This series of papers covers the knowledge which has been obtained, and may yet be obtained, from both animal models and clinical studies of human diseases. Key discussions include diseases associated with the immune system such as HIV, multiple sclerosis and .

This thought-provoking series presents balanced, informed opinions from authorities in clinical and experimental research that highlight the contribution of animal models to medical research.

Fundamental issues include understanding the validity and limits of animal models, the key differences between models and the human situation and, crucially, the development of animal models that better mimic human diseases to truly drive forward preventative and therapeutic advances with regard to malaria, tuberculosis, diabetes and .

As noted by Prof. Andreas Radbruch and Prof. John Isaacs in the Preface to the series, “We cannot do without animal models of disease, but could we do better with them?” This Viewpoint series argues that we can.

Articles Include:

Radbruch.A, Isaacs.J, Viewpoints on Animal Models of Human Disease, DOI: 10.1002/EJI.200939772

HaigDOI 10.1002/eji.200939576e: Update on animal models for HIV research, DOI 10.1002/eji.200939576

Provided by Wiley (news : web)

Explore further: Just how useful are animal studies to human health?

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