Why is animal research needed?
Many medical advances have been facilitated or developed from research conducted using animals, benefitting both animal and human lives.
It is currently impossible to recreate the complexity of the whole body within a petri dish or test tube. For example, although elements of the immune system, that protects the host from infection, can be investigated in culture systems, it can only be fully understood in whole animals where multiple cell types and molecules interact throughout the body. Understanding such complex systems has allowed the development of numerous new drugs and vaccines.
Mice are used as models of human neurodegenerative disorders allowing assessment of brain function by a wide range of biochemical and behavioural tests. The analysis of behavioural phenotypes in brain disease models is only possible using the whole animal.
LMB animal research focuses on mice, as their anatomy, physiology and genetics are comparable with those of humans. The creation of transgenic mice enables significant advances in our understanding of gene structure, function and expression, in many diseases.