Should testing on live animals be banned? | The Tylt
Should testing on live animals be banned?
Critics argue technology provides viable alternatives to animal testing. Computer models are able to accurately replicate complex systems. In vitro methods allow scientists to see the mechanisms and effects of a substance. There are few good reasons to test on animals.
Today—because experiments on animals are cruel, expensive, and generally inapplicable to humans—the world’s most forward-thinking scientists have moved on to develop and use methods for studying diseases and testing products that replace animals and are actually relevant to human health. These modern methods include sophisticated tests using human cells and tissues (also known as in vitro methods), advanced computer-modeling techniques (often referred to as in silico models), and studies with human volunteers. These and other non-animal methods are not hindered by species differences that make applying animal test results to humans difficult or impossible, and they usually take less time and money to complete.
Animals have contributed to major advances in science and medicine. The alternatives put forward by critics are unable to truly replicate an animal's biological system.
Primate research has been the bridge from the lab to the clinic for a number of groundbreaking treatments, including vaccines for mumps, measles, yellow fever, anthrax and hepatitis B.Yet critics of animal research claim that such testing is unnecessary. They argue that computer models can effectively replace animal models.They're delusional. Consider, for example, the complexity of the human brain, which has about 100 billion neurons and 1 quadrillion synapses.In 2014, researchers in Japan attempted to simulate brain activity by using a supercomputer with over 700,000 processor cores. It took the computers 40 minutes of whirring to effectively replicate what the brain does in one second.Primates, on the other hand, can effectively imitate human brains. And that fact has led to numerous treatments.