A Student's Perspective on Human-Relevant Testing Models
An Alternatives to Animal Testing, Experimentation and Dissection Article from All-Creatures.org

FROM Sydney Lo, Science Intern, CCS Center for Contemporary Sciences

August 2021

CCS conducted a pilot study involving biomedical students, most of whom were obtaining their PhDs. When asked of their interest in learning about human-based research methods, 97% responded that they were interested in gaining experience in human-specific testing methods.

Center for Contemporary Sciences

Debating animal research was never a particularly central topic throughout my short life so far as a university student. There are the occasional animal activist campaigns about how companies need to stop using them to test cosmetics or drugs, and how ‘Mouse Lives Matter Too!’ I remember the flyers being passed around in the lecture theatres, the posters dotted around the various cafes and common rooms, and the conversations I’d have with my vegan lab partner while we waited for our centrifuges to finish spinning our tiny cell samples.

Truth be told I never really paid much attention to any of these incidents, and I can tell you why – from the moment I started studying life sciences, it was always implied that using animals was the only way to do research. The use of animal models in research has existed long before current biomedical science as we know it, and to this day animals are used in basic biomedical research and preclinical studies to test the safety of newly developed drugs, vaccines, or chemical products.

As far as I was concerned, there were no alternatives to animal testing because I was never taught about any. Whether it is the responsibility of educational organizations to inform the student cohort about animal research alternatives or my own responsibility to do my own homework on this topic is another discussion altogether, but it does make me consider how my studies would be different if learning about human-biology based alternatives to animal research was part of the normal curriculum.... 



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