Use of animals for research
What is in vivo research and why is relevant for the human race?
In occasion of the renewal for the Directive on animal experimentation in Europe, EATRIS is one of the signatories of the appeal organized by EARA (link). Animals are used in research with two different aims. Most of them are used for the toxicity studies either for chemicals, food, cosmetics and medicinal products which is an area that can and should be reduced if alternative methods are applied. However, use of model organism in more basic and translational research is essential as no alternative model can predict the unknown complexity of tissue and cell interactions in vivo. Critical alteration in phenotypes and behavior are often visible only when complexity reach the level of whole organisms. Ethical issues are always balanced between the good for many against the loss for a few and in this case the increased understanding of complexity in living organism is essential to continue the improvement of life and the reduction of pain in humans and often in animals too.