• Question: have you ever experimented on animals?

    Asked by #geekygirl to Dawn, James, Sarah, Sylvain on 17 Nov 2016.
    • Photo: Sarah Hampson

      Sarah Hampson answered on 17 Nov 2016:

      I’ve not experimented on animals myself.

      When I was 16, I did work experience in a research group in a biomedical lab, and some of them experimented on mice- they tested cancer drugs on them

    • Photo: Dawn Gillies

      Dawn Gillies answered on 17 Nov 2016:

      I haven’t, but I might in future. This is not to do any harm to the animals but to look at cancer in a safe way. We need to test that drugs are safe before we give them to people, and we need ways of looking at rare diseases that we can’t look at in patients. The cancer I’m working on is pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. It has a really terrible survival rate, a lot of that is down to the fact that it is usually caught too late. So there aren’t many patients which I could look at the cancer at the early stage in. This research will hopefully improve the outcomes for people who are diagnosed. We can look at how well drug treatments work and think of ways to improve upon them without harming the survival chances of a patient.

      Any studies on animals are done because there really is no other option. We share 95% of our genes with mice which is why they are commonly used, and animal research has helped to develop vaccines against polio, TB, HPV, and meningitis. Smallpox has been eradicated because of animal research.

    • Photo: Sylvain Jamais

      Sylvain Jamais answered on 17 Nov 2016:

      Not personally but it is part of the development process for any new aurgical tool. More and more people use simulators but they don’t provide all the answers. It takes a lot of convincing of the authorities to be allowed to try a new tool on humams and they often ask for proof of safety and efficacy on animals. Often the animals in the trial are sick