Successful medical, preclinical, and scientific research requires adequate funding for facilities, supplies, and personnel. Many researchers get grants from the government, but over the last few years, as the government is spending less and less on the science sector, non-governmental sources have been funding a larger percentage of the research undertaken in the United States.
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The work of scientists and researchers in the field of neuroscience—the study of the structure or function of the nervous system and brain—has produced important knowledge about the brain and nervous system and made medical breakthroughs that significantly improve human health.
The cold is the most common known infectious illness, with Americans getting an estimated 1 billion colds every year.
Colds are difficult to prevent and treat, and so far have been impossible to cure. After hundreds of years of accepting colds as an unavoidable nuisance best treated with chicken soup and rest, an actual cure for the common cold may be in reach.
The concept of “One Health,” which was adopted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2009 and will be the theme of the 2019 AALAS National Meeting, is focused on the idea that the environment plays a key role in human disease.
John Donne said that no man is an island, and while he expressed that sentiment almost 400 years ago, it’s even more true today. In fact, while Donne meant to suggest that humans need to be part of a community to thrive, these days the idea is being taken even further, to include not only other humans, but also animals and the environment.
Researchers working with animal models traditionally look at the brain, but recent studies are increasingly focused on a different area—the gut, or microbiome, which is emerging as an important factor in human health.
All over the world, animal models are used in pre-clinical research to learn more about how the body works, and to identify causes and develop treatments and cures for disorders and diseases. While global research goals may be similar, there are significant differences between standards for pre-clinical research with animals in the United States versus internationally.
How important is the comfort and “happiness” of the mice we use in research? Providing laboratory animals a comfortable, safe, and enriching environment that gives them a way to play and act in accordance with their natural instincts is more than kindness; multiple studies show that it actually makes them better research subjects and leads to better outcomes with greater scientific validity.
Rodents, usually rats and mice, have been the most commonly used animals for biomedical research for more than a century for a number of reasons: they are readily available, easy to handle, and very similar to humans physiologically and genetically.
While there are similarities between mice and rats, there are several significant physiological and behavioral differences between the two that researchers need to consider when deciding which to use for a specific application.
For the past 100 years, mice have been the primary model for biomedical research. Not only are they easy to keep and reproduce, mice have significant similarities to humans both genetically and physiologically.