Thursday, May 7, 2015

The University of Cambridge and Mice

Recently in the UK, the University of Cambridge recorded and posted a video to show and explain testing of mice for research.  The researchers defend their use of mice for experimentations, citing the development of drugs and understanding diseases in humans, in this case pancreatic and lung cancer.  In the video, the narrator also reports that "good animal welfare and good science go hand in hand," and describes the animal housing and the care the animals.  Good welfare of animals means that a scientist can more easily reproduce the experiment for results, but also, as biochemistry professor Gerard Evans states, "nobody wants to do experiments on animals... and hurt animals if you can possibly avoid it."  No one wants to hurt animals, Meritxell Huch even developed liver tissue without using live mice, but there is acknowledgement that animals will still be needed for the foreseeable future.  Throughout the video, they continually refer to the advancements made using animal testing, but it is always for the benefit of humans.  The workers do understand that mice are living beings, but it is more important that they can use an organism closely related to humans in order to obtain relevant results.  However, unlike Descartes and his consent for killing 'nature's automata', there is strict legislation in the UK on the use of animals for research in the hope to make mice lives as comfortable as possible, given their position as experiments.

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