IntroductionMillions ofanimals are utilized annually in the whole world for the commercial andscientific experiments. Specifically,animals are exploited to create medical therapies, recognize the toxicity ofdrugs and verify the wellbeing of products that are meant for people as well ashealthcare purposes. The research onliving things has been practiced since 500BC although debates have been raisedconcerning the ethical uses of animals in experiments (Marshall andRowan, 2017, p. 12). The majority of animals used in biomedicalstudies act like models for human illness although they have been utilized inaddiction and behavioural testing. Additionally, animals are utilized inproduct development, agricultural, space, military, and science education. The proponents of animal research state thatsuch experiments have enabled the discovery of several life-saving medicationsfor both animals and humans hence no alternative technique for studying acomplete living thing (Davies , 2015, p.19).
On the other hand, the opponents of animaluse refer the act as inhumane and cruel thus suggesting substitute methods thatdo not harm living organisms. The major reasonfor using animals in research include advancing scientific understanding,protecting the safety of the environment, people and animals, testing anddeveloping remedies as well as models for studying ailments. Most countries and internationalorganizations have regulations that control the use animal in experiments. For instance, animal welfare act (AWA) is therule that controls the use of animals in the USA by defining the living thingsthat can be utilized for studies (Scanarotti etal., 2017, p. 9).
Although the laws regulate the transportationand housing of animals for testing, they do not standardize the experimentsleading to misuse and killing of creatures. To avoid mistreatment of several animals, scientists have validated anddeveloped alternative techniques that have shown to be more effective and saferin establishing drugs and products for human use than animal testing. Benefits of Non-animal TestingThe use ofnon-animal testing have demonstrates some of the advantages when compared tothe previous methods of using creatures in experiments.
Initially, thealternative scientific assessment s are more reliable than animal research. For instance, the study on hamsters, monkeys,baboons, guinea pigs and rats did not show any connection between cancer andglass fibres although human studies illustrated the correlation. Also, theEpiDerm obtained from individual membrane cells was precise in recognizing skinaggravation than animal studies (Bailey et al.,2014, p.
21). Secondly, the utilization of people tissuein poison experiments is more effective than animal. The fatal dose 50 study make animals to eatlethal and poisonous substance to the extent where half of the creatures dieand those that are left are killed (Garattini andGrignaschi, 2017, p. 13). However, a replacementof the test using donated human tissue has shown to be accurate since theexperiment is able to target the effect of the toxin on particular organs. Thirdly, the useof substitute methods is cost-effective, expedient and practical when comparedto animal tests. The use of syntheticskin is able to offer the chemical corrosivity determination in less than threeminutes although creature testing would take about four weeks. Also, the DakDak technique utilized tomeasure the success of sunscreens gives the report in days but animal studiestake months (Foley, 2014, p.
27). Moreover, thetraditional examination of chemicals using animals may last for five years persubstance and cost million dollars although alternative methods can analyzehundreds of chemical within a week for the same cost. Lastly, cruelty-free substances areenvironmentally friendly. In toxicitystudies, scientist breed, dispose and test millions of creatures as dangerousor pathogenic garbage.Therefore,cruelty-free studying produce fewer wastes and is less damaging to thesurrounding. Alternatives to Animal TestingSome of thecurrent alternative methods include stem cell and genetic assessment, in vitroand human cell models, computer simulations and models, microdosing andnon-invasive imaging.
In Vitro TestingIn vitro study isa method of carrying out a particular procedure in a managed environment butoutside the living organism. Severalexperiments are conducted on cells of an organism through the artificialculture media. Havard’s Wyss institutionhas established the organs-on-chips that have human cells developed in thestate-of-the-art system to represent the function and structure of person organsystems and tissues (Goh et al., 2015,p. 9). The cells can be utilized as a substitute ofanimals in medicine testing, sickness study, and toxicity examination. Moreover, the discovery has proved toreplicate diseases, medicine reaction, and human physiology more accuratelythan basic animal experiments. Some ofthe organizations including the HuRel company have turned them into goods thatother scientist can use as a substitute for animals (Hartung, 2016, p.
17). Furthermore, anassortment of tissue models and cell-based tests can be utilized to evaluatechemical, consumer products, cosmetics and safety of drugs. Cee Tox invented the scheme to examine the latentof a stuff to cause membrane sensitivity in human beings which entails theMatTek’s EpiDerm tissue replica. Themodel is a 3-dimensional and human being cell-derived that duplicates majortraits of the standard human skin (Bergeson, 2016,p.
10). The product is able to replace the use ofmice or guinea pigs that have been injected or applied a substance to theirskin with the aim of determining the allergic reaction. The MatTek’s EpiDerm is used to substituterabbits in a prolonged and painful experiment that have been utilized to assessthe ability of a chemical to irritate or corrode the skin. Furthermore, the EU reference libraryresearchers have created five distinct studies that utilize human serum tonotice pollutants in drugs with the potential dangerous fever outcome when inthe body (Ohl and Meijboom,2015, p. 17). Computer Modelling(In silico)The in silicotechnique refers to the testing that entails a computer or use of desktopsimulation in the research.
Variousmethods of computer modelling include molecular reproduction, complete cellsimulations, and bacterial sequencing techniques. Scientists have created abroad range of complicated CPU model that activate human being biology and sequenceof illnesses (Taylor et al.,2014, p.
11). The computers are used to predict andvisualize the human reaction to a particular substance or drug. The common way the in silico techniques areinvolved in the research include prediction models, modelling tools, poweranalysis and planning experiments as well expert systems. Further, the methods are used to evaluateskin metabolism and reaction to specific chemical using the skin proteins. The skin interaction with chemical togetherwith metabolism is stimulated so that to determining the structure-metabolismand structure-toxicity relationships (Seidle T, 2013,p. 8).
The in silico research offers enormousadvantages for refining, replacing and reducing animal testing together withtranslating the outcomes of animal research into people. The computermodels are able to indicate the feedback to new medicines in the human bodyhence replacing the exploitation of creatures in drug tests and investigative explore. The quantitative structure-activityrelationships are compute founded methods that substitute animal makingcreating sophisticated estimates of substance’s toxicity based on itsresemblance to the present chemical and human biology knowledge (Nicolas et al.,2015, p. 14).
By coupling modelling to sensing and imaging,one animal can be followed hence reducing the killed figures of creatures usedin the different experiment. There arecomputer models of lungs, skin, kidneys, heart, musculoskeletal and digestivesystem which are utilized to carry out virtual studies based on themathematical data and existing information. Human Volunteerand MicrodosingRapid inventionsin technology have permitted the development of complex recording and scanningtechniques which can be utilized by human volunteers without harm. Microdosing refers to the method used inassessing the trait of medicines in people via the administration of low dosesthat cannot cause a lethal effect but is capable of triggering a cellularreaction (Ramirez et al.,2015, p.
13). The human volunteer is an alternative thatentails the use of people in scientific studies but they have to sign upwithout being forced. Microdosing canoffer fundamental facts on the wellbeing of investigational substances and how areused in individuals before a trial to a large population. Volunteers are given small and instant drugdose while classy imaging methods are utilized to monitor how the medicinebehaves in the body. The application ofmicrodosing replaces particular examination on creatures as well as screeningout drug compounds that cannot function in humans (Franklin, 2016,p.
22). Highly developedmental recording and imaging methods including functional magnetic resonanceimaging with human volunteers are used to substitute archaic studies wheremonkeys, cats, and rats have their brains destroyed. The current technique permits the humanbrain to be studied safely while researchers can reversibly and temporarilyinduce brain malady using the transcranial magnetic stimulation (Waxenecker andBinder, 2017, p. 11). Human tissues are gathered via surgery suchas transplant, aesthetic operation and biopsies for investigation.
For instance, eye and skin models preparedfrom reconstituted individual skin and other tissues are developed and usedinstead of rabbit in irritating tests. Furthermore, human cells and organ can be utilized after a person dies. The post-mortem brain parts have offeredsignificant facts of understanding brain regeneration as well as the impact ofParkinson’s and multiple sclerosis ailments (Flory et al.,2015, p. 12).
Less high-tech experiments for pain, drugaddiction and nutrition can be conducted on consenting people in the interestsof developing medical science rather than using animal tests. Human tissue is used in different wayswithin a medical research thus making it relevant than animal tests. The advantage of microdosing is that itallows the observation of how substance or medicine works with fewer chances ofside effects.
Also, the technique lowersthe discrepancy between humans and animal reaction to a specific drug. Human-patient SimulatorsHuman patient simulatorsrefer to infant and life-size manikins that replicate aspects of humanphysiology including pulse, heartbeat, and respiration. Theyare computer and mechanical simulators that mimic human outlook and depictdisease and symptom processes as they manifest in the actual patient. (Schultz et al.,2016, p.
9) The simulators are integrated with computersoftware that enables them to illustrate abnormal and normal bodily reactionsto therapeutic interventions and conditions. Their blood vessels, gastrointestinal tract, heart and lungs are made torespond to all human interventions. The major purpose of the human patientsimulators is replacing animals in teaching pharmacology and physiology. The most high-tech simulators imitateinjuries and illnesses and offer appropriate biological reaction to drugadministration and medical interventions.
More than 90% of medical schools in the United States have replaced theuse of animals in the lab during medical training with the simulators sincethey are much better than killing creatures (Moran et al.,2016, p. 13). To facilitateeffective learning, the simulators are developed based on particular clinicalsetting or organ system. Some examples of the human patient simulator includeHarvey, emergency care, Pelvic ExamSim, Megacod Kelly, VitalSim and adultSimMan (Rychert andWilkins, 2015, p. 16). Additionally, the models offer moreexperiential learning chances than animal tests.
For instance, the emergency care simulator offerexact anatomical feature-rich dummy that permits bodily illustration ofdifferent medical signs such as blinking eyes, seizures, breathing andbleeding. The human physiology at thesimulator offers accurate reaction to fluid administration, defibrillation,oxygen management and drug administration. For advanced medical learning, TraumaMan which replicate bleeding,breathing and realistic layers of internal organs, ribs and skin is utilized toteach surgical procedures better than the use of live dogs, goats, and pigs (Klein and Seeley,2015, p.
19). Stem Cell and Genetic Testing The embryonic stemcells can grow and divide within a petri dish into different cells that createhuman organ. The in vitro version ofhuman tissues is superior to dishes of a single cell type to evaluate thetoxicological impact of the drug as well as providing the human impactprofile. Moreover, the stem cells areused in drug discovery since the ailment genes are inserted into the stem cellswhich are then activated to differentiate into human tissues that can beutilized to screen a medicine (Balls, 2014, p.12). Presently, the effective development of stemcell an outside model for testing toxicity is in human heart tissue. Several medicines have been banned from themarket due effects of cardiac toxicity.
One of the examples is terfenadine that caused 100 deaths in America dueto adverse cardiac effects (Huffington, 2016,p. 17). Stem cells fromdifferent organs are developed which help the experiments to target a specificpart of the body which is not possible in animal testing. Additionally, genetic testing entails theidentification of changes in protein, genes or chromosomes with the aim ofconfirming or ruling out a condition. Through genetic testing, human volunteers can be used to confirm anygenetic disorder rather instead of using animals.
Non-invasiveImaging TechniquesThe non-invasivemethods create body images for clinical use or medical science. Some of themedical procedures include an examination of the disease, diagnosis or approachesseeking to reveal a condition. Theinvention includes ultrasound, nuclear imaging, MRI and CT scans as well asother techniques that are able to show the image of inner organs or parts thatcannot be seen by the naked eyes (Kojima, 2015, p.8). The imaging has been used in neuroscience and is effective because ofits precision. Currently, the techniqueis replacing animals particularly in nursing and medical education where thepictures are used rather than killing creatures.
Issues Associated with Animal TestingThe use of animaltesting is associated with various social, legal and ethical issues. Animalstudies prolong the suffering of the population since it takes a long time forhelpful cures to be determined. Most of the resources are wasted including timeand money because some of the experiments fail to be successful. More than four million animal studies aredone annually in United Kingdom for biomedical research which leads to theviolation of animal rights making the possible benefits irrelevant (Bonamin et al.,2015, p. 11). Animal testing isinhumane and cruel since the majority of creatures in research are subjected toforced inhalation, feeding, extended physical restraint, water and fooddeprivation, burns and other wounds.
TheDraize eye study utilized by cosmetic corporations to assess pain due to soapand other goods entail incapacitation of rabbits with eyes open for severaldays so that will close to avoid the substances away (Vinardell, 2015,p. 8). Furthermore, animals are distinct frompeople a poor test for subjects.
Thecellular, metabolic and anatomic dissimilarities between human beings andanimals make creatures to be poor models for persons (Brooker, 2014, p.15). Some of themedicines that pass animal experiments are not necessarily safe for people touse. The 1950s thalidomide which is asleeping pill caused severe deformities among 10000 babies despite beinganalyzed on animals before commercial release (Ostroumov, 2016,p. 11). The later tests on pregnant guinea pigs,hamsters, cats, rats, and mice did not cause birth defect unless it was givenin high doses.
Also, the animal test onthe arthritis medicine Vioxx demonstrated to have a protective impact on themice’s heart although it causes 2700 cardiac deaths and heart attacks beforebeing banned from the market (Millot et al.,2014, p. 17). Besides, animaltests can mislead scientist into ignoring potential treatments and cures. Some of the harmful or ineffective chemicalsto animals are valuable when utilized by people. For instance, aspirin is dangerous to somespecies although it is beneficial to humans.
Moreover, the intravenous administration of vitamin C helps in curingsepsis in persons but has no effect on mice (Agell et al.,2015, p. 12). Other example is tacrolimus which is used todecrease the chances of organ transplant rejection but it was almost cancelleddue to animal test results. Therefore,animal experiments might have misled the identification of important drugssince any substance that cause harm to some species is considered hazardous. Further, more than95 percent of animals involved in research are not secured by the animalwelfare act. The law doe no cover birds,fish, mice and rats which comprises of 95 % of all creatures used in scientificstudies. The AWA protected only 820812animals utilized for the experiment in 2016 thus leaving more than 25 millionothers uncovered (Foley, 2014, p.
19). The unprotected creatures are vulnerable toabuse and misuse without the intervention of the AWA. Additionally, research has found seriousflaws in most of publicly financed by the UK and US animal experiments usingprimates and rodents. About 87 percentof the studies did not randomize the assortment of animals while only 59% statedthe objective and hypothesis. Socially,religious traditions require people to be merciful to all creatures thusexperimenting on them causes harm.
Forinstance, the Bible, Buddhism and Hinduism doctrines teach individuals not toharm living things (Seidle, 2013, p.16). Example of ResearchOne of the researchesthat would limit the utility of the scientific result without the animal modelsis when discovering new drugs for the new diseases. For instance, insulin wouldnot have been recognized if the dog pancreases were not removed. In 1921, Frederick Banting together withmedical scholar Charles Best discovered hormone insulin from the pancreaticextracts of the dogs (Bergeson, 2016,p. 23). The researchers injected insulin into one ofthe dogs and noticed that it decreased blood sugar levels to ordinary. To perfect their study, the grinded andfiltered dog’s surgically tied pancreas and isolate isletin.
The pair developed insulin for treatingdiabetes which helped to save millions of lives. ConclusionConclusively,animal testing has played part in the discovery of several life-savingtreatments and cures. The major reason for using animals in scientificexperiments is to advance knowledge as well as determining new drugs andeffects of products before they are released to the market. The use of animal testing has been existingsince the ancient times although industrialization and technology haveincreased the number of creatures killed or utilized every year. As a result of technology advancements, alternativesfor animal studies have been introduced which include non-invasive imaging,computer simulators, in vitro, stem cells, microdosing and virtual trialstechniques. The major advantages ofsubstitute methods include cost-effectiveness, reliability, accuracy andenvironmentally friendly. Animal testingis accompanied by different social, ethical and legal issues since creaturesare misused and killed.
Also, some ofthe animal research can mislead scientists because people are different fromrodents and other used living things. Therefore, future experiments should focus on using modern methodsrather than relying on animal testing.