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Real Science

Posted in General news by Glô! on the June 20th, 2006

What is Real Science?

“Are there alternatives to vivisection? Of course not. There are no alternatives to vivisection because any method intended to replace it should have the same qualities; but it is hard to find anything in biomedical research that is, and always was, more deceptive and misleading than vivisection. So the methods we propose for medical research should be called ‘scientific methods’… they are not ‘alternatives’.”
- Prof. Croce M.D, Vivisection or Science
: A Choice To Make, page 21.

Besides saving countless animal lives, these methods are efficient and reliable.

Unlike crude, archaic animal tests, non-animal methods usually take less time to complete, cost only a fraction of what the animal experiments they replace cost, and are not plagued with species differences that make extrapolation difficult or impossible.

Effective, affordable, and humane research methods include ethical studies of human populations, volunteers, and patients, as well as sophisticated cell cultures, genomic, and computer-modeling techniques.

Those who experiment on animals artificially induce disease; clinical investigators study people who are already ill or who have died.

Animal experimenters want a disposable “research subject” who can be manipulated as desired and killed when convenient; clinicians must do no harm to their patients or study participants.

Animal experimenters face the unavoidable fact that their artificially created “animal model” can never fully reflect the human condition, whereas clinical investigators know that the results of their work are directly relevant to people.

“Practically all animal experiments are untenable on a statistical scientific basis, for they possess no scientific validity or reliability.

They merely perform an alibi for pharmaceutical companies, who hope to protect themselves thereby.”
Herbert Stiller, M.D. & Margot Stiller, M.D., 1976.

[1] Human cell and tissue culture:

What does Culture in Vitro consist of?

Culture in Vitro consists of cells and tissues cultured in a sterile and oxygenated culture media containing a serum, this promotes cell multiplication and protects the cell from death.

Human antibodies are being produced by insterting human genes into a bacterium media ; this allows bulk synthesis of the antibodies. Antibodies are an essential part of the body’s immune system and are widely used in medical research, for example AIDS and cancer research.

What are they used for?

Cell cultures are routinely used in vaccine production, toxicity testing, drug development and to diagnose disease.
Cell cultures have helped researchers to understand the underlying mechanisms of cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and AIDS.
They are also a means of producing and testing a number of other pharmaceutical products, including vaccines, antibiotics, and therapeutic proteins.

For example :

1) cell cultures have replaced the use of monkeys in polio vaccine production.

2) Pregnancy tests are now conducted in test-tubes instead of in rabbits.

3) Batches of insulin are analysed chemically and not by crude tests in mice.

4) Cell culture methods have replaced the use of thousands of live mice in the production of monoclonal antibodies.

It is important that human cells, rather than animal cells, are used for medical research, to avoid the problem of relating results from one species to another.

Where can Human cells and tissues be found ?

Human cells and tissues are obtained from biopsies, post-mortems, placentas, or as waste from surgery, and it is possible to grow them in the laboratory.
(See NDRI)

[2] Computer modelling:

Computer modelling is now very sophisticated, with virtual human organs and virtual metabolism programmes which predict drug effects in humans far more accurately than animals can.

How does it work?

Computers are able to simulate human body parts through complex mathematical equations. Scientists are using this method to model “slices” of human brains to investigate disorders such as epilepsy.

Computer graphics can create 3-D structures of drug molecules on screen, allowing scientists to study their potential and to predict their safety.

Useful drugs – such as the high blood pressure medication Captopril – have already been developed using this new technique.

A model of the human heart and circulatory system is already in use, called the Mock Cirulatory system (MCS). It was designed for the National Heart Institute (USA).

For example, produced by Health Design, Inc. in Rochester, New York, TOPKAT is a computer software program that measures toxicity, mutagenicity, carcinogenicity, and teratonogenicity (this method is used by the U.S. Army, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Food and Drug Administration).

Computers can also tell us how long it takes for the intestine to absorb a drug, its concentration in the blood, the changes it undergoes in the liver and other organs, and its excretion -by the kidney, through salivation or perspiration or through the alimentary canal. The uses of computers are innumerable and are limited only by the imagination and ability of the researcher.

Clinical Studies of patients:

Careful observation and analysis of patients has led to many great discoveries and breakthroughs including the successful treatment of childhood leukaemia and our present level of HIV therapy.
Although thorough investigation and diagnosis is rare in modern medicine, improved observation would both help patient care and advance vital knowledge.

Scans:


Scans allows scientists to study any part of the human body. MRI scanners can monitor brain activity. MEG scanner allows to study epileptic patients. Transcranial magnetic stimulation allows scientists to temporarily switch off specific areas of function in the human brain instead of the old fashioned approach of removing parts of the animal brains.

Genetic Research:

The Human Genome Project is bringing great changes in medicine.
DNA sequencing and gene mapping allow scientists to discover what genes do. Different genes influence susceptibility to disease and help to predict how drugs can work.

DNA chips allow doctors to prescribe the right drug for specific patients, thus reducing serious side effects of chemotherapy, for example.

Molecular methods:

New and improved molecular methods allow analysing and identifying new compounds and medicines.

It also allows to understand the biochemistry and genetics underlying various illnesses, and leading to better treatments.

Microorganisms:

Microorganisms such as bacteria and yeasts can indicate whether a chemical may cause cancer. They also are faster, cheaper and more humane than animal tests.

Bacteria can be genetically manipulated to manufacture useful products previously obtained from animals, such as human insulin and monoclonal antibodies.

Post-mortem studies:

They are responsible for much of our modern medical knowledge – including the repair of congenital heart defects in babies.

In vitro (test tubes) Research:

Maintenance in Vitro consists of extracting from the body the part which is of interest (fragments of tissue, organs, body systems..) and maintaining it in conditions where it can survive for a limited period.

It has been instrumental in many of the great discoveries – of antibiotics, for example, and the structure of DNA, as well as all the vaccines we have today, including polio and meningitis.

Epidemiology

Epidemiology is the study of the diseases of whole populations. How can we study the diseases that occur in humans? One of the most natural and immediate methods is that of observation.
Studying the diseases in human populations, and the effects of lifestyle, diet and occupation, has already revealed a great deal about cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis , and birth defects. Such information is vital to improving human health and providing clues to the causes of illnesses.
For example, breast cancer is common in North America and Europe, rare in China and Japan. Tumours of the central nervous system occur most frequently in Israel and are rare in Asia and Africa. We can see that it is not necessary (or possible) to recreate the above studies in other animals in laboratory conditions. To help humans we need to study the diseases which occur in humans.

Prevention:

We all know that prevention is better than cure, don’t we? So why don’t the majority of us practice preventative health measures?

Well, one reason could be that we are not given the information ; there are no big campaigns to educate us.
We see adverts for drugs on TV and in newspapers, to “cure” headaches, hayfever, colds, etc. We do not see adverts for preventative health measures.
The reason is, of course, financial. Whereas there is little money to be made from healthy people, the profits from selling pharmaceutical drugs run in billions of pounds each year.

We are all responsible for our own health and adopting a healthy lifestyle is vital.

In the UK 50% of people will die from heart disease – as we know, the causes of heart disease are related to lifestyle and so it must stand to reason that heart disease is largely preventable.

Cancer claims the lives of one in four people in the UK, yet 80% of cancers are related to lifestyle and environmental factors and so are also preventable.

Mechanical models:

For example, an artificial neck has been developed by General Motors for use in car-crash simulations. Indeed, the well-known “crash dummies” are much more accurate and effective than the primates previously employed.

“Vivisection is an aberration, a foolish practice that leads medicine astray, creating millions of human victims in the process: we are all victims of toxic drugs, of common medical errors, of wrong medical information and of medical delusions.”
Professor Dr Pietro Croce

For more info, please read :

- Europeans for Medical Progress
- Doctors & Lawyers for Responsible Medicine (DLRM)
- Dr Hadwen Trust
- Medical Research Modernization Committee.
- Vivisection-Absurd.



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