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ANIMALS IN RESEARCH. SPECIFICATION – pg. 48. 2. Methodology/ How Science Works a) Describe and evaluate the use of animals in laboratory studies when researching into drugs.

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specification pg 48
  • 2. Methodology/ How Science Works

a) Describe and evaluate the use of animals in laboratory studies when researching into drugs.

b) Describe and evaluate two research methods using humans to study the effects of drugs.

c) Evaluate, including relative strengths and weaknesses, research methods using animals (including both practical and ethical strengths and weaknesses) and humans (including issues of reliability and validity).

what is animal testing
What is animal testing?
  • It refers to the experimentation carried out on animals.
  • It is used to assess the safety and effectiveness of everything from medication to cosmetics
  • Can be used in understanding how the human body works
  • Product testing
  • soaps, cosmetics etc to see if they are safe for human use.
  • Research
  • Testing of drugs and medical procedures
  • Education/Training

- Teach anatomy and train medical students

laboratory experiments
Laboratory Experiments
  • Controlled setting
  • Manipulate something (IV)
  • Animal laboratory experiments can be used to show a cause and effect relationship between the drug administered and the behaviour resulting





  • What do you think should go in the blanks?
  • According to the American Psychological Association, ___% of all psychological research involves the use of animals.
  • 90% of research involving animals uses ________ and _____.
  • __ % of animals used are primates.
  • Mice and rats are the most common animal used in testing
  • This is because of:
  • Breeding – breed very quickly so inheritance can be investigated much quicker than in humans
  • Similarity – the arrangement of genes along their chromosome is similar enough to humans to be meaningful
  • Rats have been used to study Parkinson’s disease

- Researchers use drugs to replicate the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, then use gene therapy to reverse these symptoms

studying functions of the brain
Studying functions of the brain
  • As far back as 1950, Lashley was investigating brain function in rats by using ablation (removing part of the brain).
  • He systematically removed parts of the rat’s brain to see what affect it had on memory.
drug research
Drug Research
  • Using animals, researchers can look at the effects of drugs on brain and body
  • Can also help in finding cures and treating diseases
Nagaraja & Jeganathan (2003)‏

Effects of acute and chronic

conditions of overcrowding

on free choice ethanol intake

in rats

Aim:To examine the effects of overcrowding on ethanol intake in rats

Method:A lab experiment with independent measures and two conditions


Acute Stressed

- Overcrowded for 6 hours a day for a week

Chronic stressed

- Overcrowded continuously for a week


Chronic stressed group showed

increase in ethanol intake and

ethanol preference over other


  • Intense stress can lead to voluntary alcohol intake
  • A short-lasting stressor may not increase alcohol intake
olds and milner 1954
Olds and Milner (1954)
  • 6 minutes in
olds and milner 19541
Olds and Milner (1954)
  • Electrodes attached to brain
  • Rats used lever to self administer stimulation to reward pathway
  • Up to 100 times a minute!
  • Ignored food, water, and other rats – only wanted to feel this pleasure
  • Applied to “addiction” in drug abusers
  • Drugs like heroin activate same reward circuit
  • Can explain why addicts will do anything to have the drug and will let other aspects of life become inconsequential
so is animal research necessary
So, is animal research necessary?
  • Insulin was first tested on dogs and fish and is now used to treat diabetes in humans
  • So animal research has HELPED treat illnesses in humans and in some cases SAVED lives
  • Surely there are alternatives?
  • Tissue cultures
  • Donated parts
  • Computer based and mathematical models
  • Human volunteers
evaluation put the following statements into the correct box
Evaluation – Put the following statements into the correct box

The brains of animals are not the same as humans: results may not be generalisable

Relatively small and easy to handle

Some animals have very short gestation periods and short reproductive cycles

Their genetic structure is not the same as humans: results may not be generalisable

Pro-speciesism suggests that we ought to do all we can to protect our own species

Animals in experiments are not in their natural surroundings, and therefore distressing conditions

evaluation put the following statements into the correct box1
Evaluation – Put the following statements into the correct box

Some animals (mice etc) have a similar brain structure to humans

Some animals (mice, rats etc) have a short lifespan (2 years)

Drugs have been developed that could otherwise not have been developed.

Some diseases (Parkinson's) have to be replicated in animals using drugs, and so may not be the same as the disease itself. Therefore, studies might lack validity

Human lives are complex and factors rarely occur in isolation

Some procedures have to be carried out daily

Animals should be treated ethically . They are not sufficiently different from humans to be treated as objects

evaluation put the following statements into the correct box2
Evaluation – Put the following statements into the correct box

The knowledge obtained may also improve the lives of the species being tested on.

Some procedures require strict control over the environment

Using animals may not be credible

Some procedures require accessing specific parts of the brain that might then be damaged.

Procedures can be carried out on humans that can not be done on animals. E.g. ablation and leisoning

Many animals feel pain

inside information
Inside Information!
  • Animals are treated really well, have handlers, toys etc..
  • Beagles and mini-pigs – similar systems/metabolism to humans
  • Rats – see if drug reaches right place - can’t throw up – so need to test on dogs/pigs to see what effects drugs will have
  • Have to keep increasing dose until animal dies – then know what the max. dosage is
  • There isn’t really a choice but to do these on animals – have to know how it will effect the system and whether it reaches the right places – too unethical for humans
  • Will “terminate” animals so can see the effect on internal organs
  • CANCER CURE – Inject rats with tumour, see effect of drug