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Animal Testing (Essay Sample)


This essay focuses on the necessity of animal testing by showing the success of its use and also its failure and bringing out the need for other alternatives. Animal experiments have been significantly used throughout biomedical research. It was first used by Greek scientists such as Aristotle, Erasistratus, and Galen. Its use has a significant impact in the current medicine areas as it is the source of pathology, pharmacology, physiology, and anatomy.


Animal Testing
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Animal Testing
It is usually dangerous to give out a new medication to people without checking its safety levels. The outcomes are catastrophic since the drug may be poisonous to individuals, leading to severe illness or death. There is a significant similarity between humans and animals, making it necessary for experimental studies to consider the use of animal subjects in medical experiments. Mammals are usually the common animals used in these experiments because of their similarities in major organs such as the brain, lungs, and hearts. Most of these mammals include pigs, mice, rabbits, and rats. Furthermore, they are preferred because they provide a reasonable idea regarding the outcome of the drug when used by humans. Simple animals such as worms and fruit flies are also used to predict the outcome of lab experiments on humans, especially in genetic research. The biological content passed down from one generation to another helps determine humans' characteristics and immune systems. This essay focuses on the necessity of animal testing by showing the success of its use and also its failure and bringing out the need for other alternatives.
Animal Testing Based on History
Animal experiments have been significantly used throughout biomedical research. It was first used by Greek scientists such as Aristotle, Erasistratus, and Galen. Its use has a significant impact in the current medicine areas as it is the source of pathology, pharmacology, physiology, and anatomy. Animal testing importance is traced back to Ibn Zuhr, an Arab physician in Spain. Ibn Zuhr identified the need to conduct animal testing experiments in surgical procedures before being applied to human patients (ProCon, 2021). In the current years, there has been a wide criticism regarding animal testing in biomedical research by groups that protect animal rights. Various laws have been passed to ensure that the procedures are conducted humanely. These ethics began as early as the 17th century, and regulations were at the peak during the 19th century.
In the 20th century, animal testing was an essential practice in biomedical research. In 1937, the pharmaceutical industry in the United States of America came up with sulfanilamide using diethylene glycol (DEG), leading to mass poisoning (Snellings et al., 2017). The manufacturers of the drug were not aware of the issue. This led to the act of Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requiring safety in 1938, which required the drugs to be tested on animals before being marketed for human consumption. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, drug fiasco was used as a painkiller and tranquilizer for headaches, coughs, insomnia, and colds. The drug was also identified to significantly reduce morning sickness among pregnant women, and most of them used the drug. The effects were catastrophic as more than 10,000 babies born had malformations such as missing limbs. The drug was later withdrawn from the market from 1961 to 1968. The above cases show the importance of animal testing on a historical basis. It is imperative to note that drugs need to be tested before being consumed by humans to prevent tragedy.
The Need for Animal Testing
Major medical breakthroughs in the history of medicine have been achieved through animal testing. In the 1920s, relieving diabetes symptoms was found by a surgeon. The surgeon discovered that the high level of sugar in an individual’s blood is because the pancreas is not able to produce the required level of insulin or the cells of a person are not properly responding to the produced insulin. The surgeon later injected the insulin into various dogs and studied the outcome (Tanner, 2018). The results were positive, which has saved many lives since the finding of the drug. Animals form a significant part of the medical industry as most medical trials are first carried on them. Various diseases that pose a substantial threat to human existence have been battled with the help of animal testing procedures. Additionally, these tests have helped develop critical medical practices that save many lives worldwide. The simple practices include using anesthetics during medical surgeries, the treatment of cancer, and antibiotics. The discoveries in animal experimentation have significantly promoted individuals' life spans.
Successful Case Studies on Animal Testing
Ebola is deadly virus that affects animals as well humans. In 2014, there was an Outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, which claimed more than 11,310 lives and infected approximately 28,000 people ("Animal Research Achievements," 2022). The virus causes hemorrhagic fever in both humans and some mammals. Many scientists worldwide have tried to create the vaccine, and the preliminary outcomes have proven successful through animal research. The successful nature of the trials is because the virus originates from primates. The virus is the primary cause of death among the primates such as gorillas and chimpanzees; hence the role of animal testing in the development of the vaccine cannot be rolled out ("Animal Research Achievements," 2022). In 2013, a trial of the Ebola vaccine was conducted on six chimpanzees, and the outcome was fruitful as it was safe and effective in creating an artificial immune response. However, the outcome in monkeys was a bit different as they only had partial protection, which lasted for about ten months after the introduction of the vaccine in their body (Bausch, 2021). This has resulted in expanded studies on the area to develop lasting protection, hence the prospects for creating booster shots.
In 2015, a discovery was made, which entails using inhalable vaccines administered to the macaques monkeys. The vaccine was effective as it neutralized the Ebola virus by producing the immune response in macaques monkeys' respiratory system. Previously, the vaccine has proven to be effective among monkeys and not humans. This has provided the researchers with hope, as most monkeys could not survive the effects of Ebola (Walsh et al., 2017). The use of aerosol vaccine does not require expertise in the medical area; hence can be easily used by anyone following the instructions. The continued experiments on non-human primates are critical in enhancing the safety of the vaccine. Ebola virus continues to evolve, hence the need to monitor the changes via monkeys to prevent further spread. Rhesus, marmosets, and macaques have the same Ebola infection as humans, thus providing significant test subjects for the Ebola virus vaccine (Gross et al., 2018). This provides a promising future for the virus and the possibility of its eradication.
Artificial Blood
Fresh blood requires proper storage measures and the maximum days that it can be stored is 42 days hence the need for regular blood donation. Currently, artificial blood is being created to become substitutes for the natural blood for transfusions, especially during emergencies such as trauma patients, those that have been injured and require blood transfusion urgently, and the patients undergoing complex or lengthy surgeries. Identification of the blood substitute has been a challenging issue (Haldar et al., 2019). However, animal testing and experimenting have proven to be effective in this project. For decades, mice and rats have been significantly used to provide the necessary information concerning blood components. In 1968, perfluorochemicals (PFC) were used as a blood substitute in mice experiments. The PFC is a vital blood alternative that has been approved by the FDA because of its efficiency, although it is not widely used. The improved version of the PFC is being developed by blood scientists, and mice and rats are used to test the blood's effectiveness.
A significant challenge in this research is the protein hemoglobin. The red blood cells have hemoglobin, which transfers oxygen from the lungs to other body parts. However, when it is not properly isolated, it could damage the blood vessels and the tissues ("Animal Research Achievements," 2022). This has made the researchers come up with hemoglobin that is encased in synthetic polymers (Shaffer, 2020). The effect of these synthetic polymers is being studied on rabbits to identify their impact on the aorta to develop identical reactions when introduced to the human body. This has to 

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