Southwest Association for Education in Biomedical Research - SwAEBR

1997 Winning Essays - Phoenix

Congratulations to the Phoenix Winners of the 1997 Essay Contest!

The Benefits of Using Animals In Medical Research - By Nicole, Senior - Mountain View High School

Why Animal Research is Important To Me - By J.J., Senior - Mountain View High School

 

The Benefits of Using Animals In Medical Research

By Nicole, Senior - Mountain View High School

Medical research using animals has prolonged the lives of millions of people. Animals such as dogs, cats, guinea pigs, and different strains of rats and mice are used as disease models in medical research to test treatments and surgical procedures. The disease animal models used in medical research have resulted in treatments to combat health disorders that affect my family members. Health disorders such as diabetes and asthma affect some members of my family. Without the use of animals in medical research, certain medications and treatments would be useless to humans.

My youngest brother suffers from severe bronchiole asthma. The animals involved in research for the treatment of asthma include steers and guinea pigs. For example, the adrenal glands of steers produce epinephrine. Epinephrine is a neurotransmitter used in the treatment of asthma. The controlling hormone, ACTH, found in the pituitary gland of steers, is used in medications to relieve the symptoms of asthma. The guinea pig is another animal used in the research of asthma. An asthma model in guinea pigs has been developed for human asthma research purposes. By treating the guinea pigs with 2,4-toluene diisocyanate (TDI) for about ten weeks, the guinea pigs suffer from labored breathing, a symptom associated with bronchiole asthma in humans, Further research using asthma-induced guinea pigs should aid in the discovery of new treatments and cures to conquer asthma.

As a little girl I remember watching my great-grandmother receiving daily insulin injections to control her type 1 diabetes. My grandmother and grandfather also have diabetes. The a few months ago I learned that I run the risk of developing diabetes. My concern about my family’s health as well as the future of my health prompted me to investigate the possibility of a cure for diabetes. As I researched the future of diabetes, I stumbled upon an article about diabetes research being performed on diabetes-prone mice. When the mice are young they are injected with glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD). GAD prevents diabetes from developing in the mice by inactivating the immune system cells that attack the pancreas. Researchers have yet to study how GAD induces tolerance against diabetes in humans. The research performed on the mice could be a breakthrough in diabetes research, possibly leading to the prevention of diabetes in future generations of my family.

Finding a cure for diabetes has been of great concern tome. However, since diabetes is still incurable, medications taken by diabetics control the disease. Medications to control diabetes have been discovered by research performed on cattle. Researchers have found that insulin from the pancreas of cattle keeps diabetics alive. Insulin, possible derived from cattle, controlled my great-grandmother’s diabetes and kept her alive. Someday a cure for diabetes might be discovered through the use of animals in research.

Through animal research, treatments and medications to control asthma, diabetes, and other illnesses have been discovered. For instance, the medications that my family members take to control their health disorders were developed through the use of animals in medical research. The keys in finding cures for diseases such as AIDS, cancer, asthma, and diabetes lie within the animals used in medical research. Medical research using animals aids in the quest for a healthy society. The results of further animal research will eventually lead to longer and healthier lives in humans.

 

Why Animal Research is Important To Me

By J.J., Senior - Mountain View High School

As a long time asthma sufferer, I have come to understand and accept the need for animal research in laboratories. Without the medication I need to clear my breathing, I would never have been able to participate in all of the sports and other outdoor and physical activities that I have enjoyed throughout my live. I am prescribed inhalers on a regular basis to help me breath better. The information paper that comes with every prescription I receive says, "Recent studies in laboratory animals recorded the occurrence of cardiac arrhythmia and sudden death when given concurrently." Because animals were used to test the safety of these medications, researches have been able to give humans correct doses without having the heart irregularities and failures as were discovered in the labs. This and many other medications have helped many other people like myself lead normal, everyday lives, without being confined inside or to a hospital bed.

Asthma sufferers, however, are not the only people who have benefited from animal research. New computer technologies have made monitoring babies before birth easier for the doctors and the mothers. Heart monitors that are attached to babies’ heads can tell doctors a lot about how the birth will occur, and if the baby is okay. When my sister had her baby in November of last year, she was having complications and the doctors were worried about the baby’s heartbeat. Without the technology of new heart monitors, they would not have known that the baby was in danger. Because they were able to monitor and stabilize the rising heartbeat, she was normal and healthy. The new technologies were made safe for humans through medical research.

Animal research has become a very important part of life today. Without laboratory testing of drugs and new technologies people would be unsure of product safety, and many diseases would be incurable due to fear and ignorance about a product. I consider myself lucky that drug research had progressed enough for me to be able to live with my ailment. Without these advances I would have been forced to live a very protected life. In addition, my sister now has a very healthy baby girl, thanks to medical research. Animal research has played an important role in keeping families like mine healthy.


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