Science races against tick-borne virus

Two groundbreaking discoveries by USC researchers could lead to medications and a vaccine to treat or prevent a hemorrhagic fever transmitted by a new tick species before it spreads across the United States.

The last survivors of the end of the world

(Phys.org) —In 2 billion years' time, life on Earth will be confined to pockets of liquid water deep underground, according to PhD astrobiologist Jack O'Malley James of the University of St Andrews. The new research also ...

Brain tumor cells decimated by mitochondrial 'smart bomb'

An experimental drug that attacks brain tumor tissue by crippling the cells' energy source called the mitochondria has passed early tests in animal models and human tissue cultures, say Houston Methodist scientists.

Family composition determines success of great tit parents

Great tits who have as many sons as daughters acquire more grandchildren than great tits with an uneven family composition. That is because their children are reproductively more successful concludes NWO researcher Reinder ...

Building a digital life form: OpenWorm, Open Source

(Phys.org) —The worm Caenorhabditis elegans is one of the most widely studied creatures. Scientists consider the worm a model organism for exploring animal development including neural development. The reasons are basic; ...

Computer-Guided Nanoparticle Therapy Destroys Tumors

Gold nanoshells are among the most promising new nanoscale therapeutics being developed to kill tumors, acting as antennas that turn light energy into heat that cooks cancer to death. Now, a multi-institutional research team ...

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Animal model

An animal model is a non-human animal that has a disease or injury that is similar to a human condition. These test conditions are often termed as animal models of disease. The use of animal models allows researchers to investigate disease states in ways which would be inaccessible in a human patient, performing procedures on the non-human animal that imply a level of harm that would not be considered ethical to inflict on a human.

In order to serve as a useful model, a modeled disease must be similar in etiology (mechanism of cause) and function to the human equivalent. Animal models are used to learn more about a disease, its diagnosis and its treatment. For instance, behavioral analogues of anxiety or pain in laboratory animals can be used to screen and test new drugs for the treatment of these conditions in humans. A 2000 study found that animal models predicted human toxicity in 71% of cases, with 63% for nonrodents alone and 43% for rodents alone.

Animal models of disease can be spontaneous (naturally occurring in animals), or be induced by physical, chemical or biological means. For example,

The increase in knowledge of the genomes of non-human primates and other mammals that are genetically close to humans is allowing the production of genetically engineered animal tissues, organs and even animal species which express human diseases, providing a more robust model of human diseases in an animal model.

Animal models observed in the sciences of psychology and sociology are often termed animal models of behavior.

In quantitative genetics, the term animal model is used to refer to statistical models in which phenotypic variance is compartmentalised into environmental, genetic and sometimes maternal effects. Such animal models are also known as "mixed models".

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