• Question: do you test stuff on animals?

    Asked by trattloj01 to Prateek, Richard, Liz, Jim, Amelia on 17 Jun 2011. This question was also asked by poisonghoul, ciaran, deanhl01, joycerl01, donnelja01, skye01, baileypg01, clarkemv01, gibsonol02, jonesm25, lori69, lauren22, joshbeaven.
    • Photo: Prateek Buch

      Prateek Buch answered on 14 Jun 2011:

      Before medical treatments are used in human patients, it’s vital they’re tested for safety and to see if their effective. Although a lot of this can be done in cells in dishes, it’s often necessary to test new therapies in animals to see check they don’t cause immune reactions or have other side-effects, and to see if they work to treat a disease. All our animal work is done as humanely as possible, with great care taken that the animals don’t suffer.

    • Photo: Richard Badge

      Richard Badge answered on 14 Jun 2011:

      Hi trattloj01,

      We don’t work with animals directly, although we do work on DNA from mice and chimpanzees (and sometimes flies)…

      As Prateek says no scientist would work with animals as experimental subjects if there was some other way that did not involve animals, and when this is unavoidable it has to be done under strict legal conditions.


    • Photo: Jim Caryl

      Jim Caryl answered on 14 Jun 2011:

      I do not work with animals in my work. We have some quite good infection models that don’t require that we use animals. Despite being an animal lover, I understand the need for animal models in medical research where a better alternative is not available, and the use of animals is always strictly regulated so that they don’t needlessly suffer.

    • Photo: Lizzard O'Day

      Lizzard O'Day answered on 15 Jun 2011:

      We do. A lot of my work relies on mouse models. It’s certainly not my favorite part of my job. But before any sort of drug goes into a human patient we need to show that it can actually work in animal, like a mouse.. it can be sad but we make sure to treat all the animals with care, respect and make sure they don’t suffer.

    • Photo: Amelia Markey

      Amelia Markey answered on 17 Jun 2011:

      I don’t use animals in my research. The DNA I use is from a human cell line.

      However as the others have said sometimes it is necessary to use animals in research. The animals are treated well and you need to be qualified to handle and perform research on animals. A lot of work goes into making sure that the animals don’t suffer and as few animals are used as possible when it is absolutely necessary to use them.