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Animal Experimentation Essay

1661 words - 7 pages

Every year, over a million animals are tested on across the world. Animal experimentation is one of the most controversial issues. Animal testing is the use of non-human animals in research and development projects, especially for purposes of determining the safety of substances such as foods or drugs. Some people believe that animal testing is unnecessary and there are more efficient alternatives. Others believe that animal testing is crucial to the development of new products and cures. According to the Science of Toxicology, “Research involving laboratory animals is necessary to ensure and enhance human and animal health and protection of the environment”(1). Animal testing should be stopped because animals do not react the same way as humans do; Alternatives to animal testing are often more accurate, and animal tests can be cruel and often unnecessary
There is no animal on earth that can simulate a human being. Different DNA separates all living species on earth. Human and chimpanzee DNA is different in many ways. DNA, deoxyribonucleic acid, is the molecule that carries genetic information in all living systems (DNA 1). According to DeWitt, one major difference is that Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes while chimpanzees have 24. At the end of each chromosome is a string of repeating DNA sequences, called a telomere. Chimpanzees and other apes have about 23 kilobases while humans have only 10. While 18 pairs of chromosomes are virtually identical, chromosomes 4, 9 and 12 show evidence of being remodeled. In other words, the genes and markers on these chromosomes are not in the same order in the human and chimpanzee. The “Y” chromosome in particular is also a different size and has many markers that do not line up between the human and chimpanzee.(1-4)
The fact is using data from one species in order to predict the outcome in humans, puts people’s lives at risk. One example of this is Thalidomide. The National Center for Biotechnology (NCBI), Thalidomide is one of the greatest cases in history of a drug disaster tragedy caused by animal research. Thalidomide is a synthetic drug formerly used as a sedative and hypnotic but withdrawn from the market when found to cause abnormalities in developing fetuses. It was was found to act as an effective tranquilizer and painkiller. Thalidomide was tested on animals extensively prior to its marketing and was deemed safe for human use. Thalidomide is responsible for over 10,000 human birth deformities (1-2).
Animal testing potentially prevents useful drugs from reaching the market. Penicillin is poisonous to Guinea Pigs (NPG 1). Penicillin is an antibiotic with powerful bactericidal action, used to treat many types of infections, including pneumonia, gonorrhea, and infections caused by streptococci and staphylococci. Penicillin causes fatal diarrhea and convulsions in guinea pigs (GuineaLynx 1). It is attributed to the toxins absorbed from the intestines. Digitalis can kill dogs, but helps save...

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