New progress in developing an animal model of hepatitis C

Small differences in a liver cell protein have significant impacts on hepatitis C virus replication in mice and humans, findings that could facilitate the development of a mouse model of the infection. The report, led by ...

New quantum material could warn of neurological disease

What if the brain could detect its own disease? Researchers have been trying to create a material that "thinks" like the brain does, which would be more sensitive to early signs of neurological diseases such as Parkinson's.

Next-generation single-dose antidotes for opioid overdoses

The U.S. opioid epidemic is being driven by an unprecedented surge in deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opiates. Fentanyl's powerful effects are long-lasting, and even tiny amounts of the drug can lead to an overdose. ...

Investigating the motility of swimming Euglena

Some species of Euglenids, a diversified family of aquatic unicellular organisms, can perform large-amplitude, elegantly coordinated body deformations. Although this behavior has been known for centuries, its function is ...

Researchers uncover intracellular longevity pathway

The search for clues on how to live healthier, longer lives has led researchers at Baylor College of Medicine to look inside the cells of the worm Caenorhabditis elegans. The researchers report in the journal Developmental ...

Team develops first genetic switch for C. elegans

With their first ever RNA-based inducible system for switching on genes in the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), two researchers from the University of Konstanz have closed a significant gap in genetic switches. ...

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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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