Animal Testing

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Animal Testing

Postby EWang » Wed Dec 23, 2009 11:47 pm

Animal Testing
Model Congress
January 13th


Animal testing is our night debate in which we invite your parents to come and watch you perform. It's going to be a lot of fun, but you really got to do plently of research and discuss the issue on the forums if you want a debate that will really wow the parents. More information to come regarding the specifics, but for now, here's the topic brief:

Animal Testing Topic Brief

Introduction
Scientific experimentation using animal participants, animal testing, is a highly controversial issue around the world. Although animal testing has undeniably advanced the development of safe medicine and furthered our understanding of sciences such as biology and psychology, many people believe that experimenting on helpless beings is cruel and unethical. When debating the topic of animal testing, it is also important to note that animal experiments range on a large spectrum from being entirely harmless to the researched animals on one side to mutating, torturing, and killing the participants on the other. Where to draw the legal line for the protection of animals, if Congress should even draw such a line, and how animal protection laws should be enforced are vital questions that needs to be answered. The types of animals that should be granted such protection and whether Congress should outline the number of times individual animals may be used in experiments, the overall numbers used, and the degree of pain inflicted without anesthetic also need to addressed.

Animal Testing History
America testing has been around for a long time. As far back as the third and fourth centuries BCE, Greek philosophers and physicians performed experiences on living animals. Vivisection, the practice of cutting into and dissecting living animals for scientific knowledge, dates back to the second century BCE. During that time, Galen, the “father of vivisection,” made many important medical observations through his experiments, and Galen’s theories dominated and influenced Western medicine for well over a millennium. In 1863, British women in Florence led the first organized protest against vivisection. Bowing to public pressure, the British government became the first government to curb animal testing. In 1876, it passed the Cruelty to Animals Act, which required licenses for animal experimentation and stipulated restrictions regarding pain for the test subjects. For America, the Animal Welfare Act of 1966 was the first and only federal act addressing animal testing.

Over the course of its long history, animal experimentation has aided scientific and medical advancement. Some famous examples include: Louis Pasteur demonstrating the germ theory by giving anthrax to sheep in the 1880s, Psychologist Ivan Pavlov experimenting on dogs in the 1890s to describe classical conditioning, Frederick Banting discovering insulin in the pancreatic ducts of dog in the 1920s, and Jonas Salk isolating the polio virus through cross-contamination of Rhesus monkeys in the 1940s.

Arguments In Favor of Animal Testing
There are many arguments in favor of animal testing. First of all, supporters point out the numerous scientific and medical breakthroughs that have involved animal testing and argue that animal experimentation was vital to their successes. Also, supporters of animal testing contend that animal testing protects the safety and well-being of human beings. Without animals to test out the potentially devastating effects of new pharmaceutical drugs, cosmetics, and other things to be used by the public, human beings would be the ones suffer. Other arguments include that the well-being of animals is secondary to the well-being of humans and that people kill a lot more animals by eating meat than animal experimentation ever will.

Arguments Against Animal Testing
There are also plenty of arguments against animal testing. First of all, animal rights organizations such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection insist that animal testing is cruel, poorly regulated, can not accurately predict effects in humans, and is unethical. The last point revolve around the concept that nonhuman animals have intrinsic rights as well and that it’s unfair and plain-out wrong for humans to force suffering upon other beings. Furthermore, opponents of animal testing allege that there are effective alternatives to animal testing (see below).

United States Laws and Regulations
The Animal Welfare Act of 1966 is the only federal law in the United States that deals with the treatment of animals in research. The Act was amended in 1970, 1976, 1985, 1990, 2002, and 2007 and is currently enforced by the United States Department of Agriculture, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and the Animal Care agency. The current version of the law directs experimenters to consider alternatives when turning to painful testing procedures, requires the use of proper anesthetics if painful procedures are performed, and stipulates that animal testing has to be licensed and approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. Certain species of animals are given special consideration: the Animal Welfare Act enacts special rules for the exercise of research dogs and for the existence of an environmental enrichment program for nonhuman primates. However, the current Act only covers warm-blooded vertebrates, and all animals used for food are excluded from its testing regulations.

Alternatives
Many scientists and government officials agree that animal testing should cause as little suffering as possible and the three Rs are the unofficial guiding principles for animal research. The three Rs are Reduction (methods that enable researchers to optimize the information obtained from each animal tested), Refinement (methods that minimize the suffering for the test subjects), and Replacement (preferred use of non-animal methods over animal methods whenever it is possible to achieve the same scientific aim). The Replacement principle could be possibly explored by the US government to fade out animal testing. There are three main alternatives to animal testing: human volunteers, cell-culture, and computer simulations. The simplest alternative is to have human beings volunteer for minor experimentation, such as testing out the effects of a cosmetic. However, having human beings test out dangerous chemicals and drugs raises its own ethical questions. Analyzing new substances using human cell culture has been effective in the past and is very promising. In fact, the monoclonal antibodies were developed with cultured cells. Finally, computer simulations could model organism for simple experimentation without any of the ethical complications. However, the effectiveness and practicality of these alternative methods is disputable, with many researchers asserting that animal testing is irreplaceable.

Links
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_testing
http://www.library.ucsb.edu/istl/00-sum ... ernet.html
http://www.ahc.umn.edu/rar/ethics.html
http://www.scu.edu/ethics/publications/ ... cures.html
http://www.politics.co.uk/briefings-gui ... 366650.htm

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Re: Animal Testing

Postby vallada » Sat Dec 26, 2009 7:10 pm

when is that again

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Re: Animal Testing

Postby EWang » Sat Dec 26, 2009 9:09 pm

Right there on the top: January 13th.

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Re: Animal Testing

Postby vallada » Tue Dec 29, 2009 4:46 pm

oh my bad

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Re: Animal Testing

Postby bfenster » Sat Jan 02, 2010 12:08 pm

Clarification: your families (not just your parents) are invited AND they aren't just there to watch. We are hoping that they'll participate in the debate!

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Re: Animal Testing

Postby VSharma » Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:35 pm

is there going to be a bill on animal testing?

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Re: Animal Testing

Postby galukal » Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:24 pm

The officers have picked up the ball and are running with it!
--------------------

An Act to Develop Alternatives to Animal Testing

Sponsored by Senators George Alukal and Eric Wang

Where more efficient, less expensive alternatives to Animal Testing have demonstrated potential to advance scientific research and test consumer products;

Be it enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled:

Section 1: The National Institute for Health shall receive an additional $4,000,000,000 in funding for induced pluripotent, adult, and amniotic stem cell research in order to achieve the following purposes:
a) Cure diseases including degenerative nervous diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and other conditions.
b) Generate human body parts in order to:
i. Replace human anatomy that has been lost or damaged beyond repair, especially in the care of injured members of the armed forces.
ii. Provide models of human body parts in order to ethically and safely experiment with treatments and cosmetics in a similar manner to how animals are used today.

Section 2: The NIH shall actively seek to prevent a government monopoly on the use of stem cells by freely providing all technical and research data to the public and corporations who desire to use it, including those in other countries;

Section 3: Funding for stem cell research shall be re-evaluated annually;

Section 4: The usage of human skin equivalent tests in cell culture shall be a legally acceptable replacement for animal-based skin-corrosive studies;

Section 5: The usage of tissue culture methods shall be a legally acceptable replacement for animal testing to measure the rate of chemical absorption by the skin;

Section 6: This bill shall take into effect 91 days after passage.

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Re: Animal Testing

Postby EWang » Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:26 pm

Speakers
1st Pro: Eric Wang
1st Con: Garrett Otrimski
2nd Pro: George Alukal
2nd Con: Ben Romano

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Re: Animal Testing

Postby bfenster » Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:27 pm

Don't fumble!

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Re: Animal Testing

Postby egagliardi » Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:55 pm

I'm a bit confused here. What exactly does this have to do with Animal Testing? It seems like more of a bill for Stem Cell research.

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Re: Animal Testing

Postby BeWang » Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:21 am

Cheaper and more humane to test stem cells rather than animals. It'll save a lot of chimps.

I'd like to ask what will replace testing of animal systems. So instead of shampooing one animal and seeing if the head, circulatory, gastrointestinal, neural, etc. systems malfunction all at once, one would have to have cultures of the brain, of the hear, of the stomach lining, and neurons in order to see how the chemicals could affect somebody.

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Re: Animal Testing

Postby EWang » Sun Jan 10, 2010 2:09 pm

BeWang wrote:Cheaper and more humane to test stem cells rather than animals. It'll save a lot of chimps.

I'd like to ask what will replace testing of animal systems. So instead of shampooing one animal and seeing if the head, circulatory, gastrointestinal, neural, etc. systems malfunction all at once, one would have to have cultures of the brain, of the hear, of the stomach lining, and neurons in order to see how the chemicals could affect somebody.


Many appliance of animal testing, such as your aforementioned example, can not currently be replaced by alternate means. So unfortunately, testing of animal systems will have to go on. However, this bill does encourage the developement of animal testing alternative through scientific research, particularly with stem cells. Perhaps in the future, we will be able to ultilize not only cell culture alternatives for animal-skin testing, but also stem cell alternatives for other animal testing uses as well.

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Re: Animal Testing

Postby BeWang » Sun Jan 10, 2010 5:54 pm

Seems like an awful lot of money to sink into something not anywhere near mature.

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Re: Animal Testing

Postby galukal » Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:27 pm

Actually, some researchers are already cloning body parts. Dr. Hoppe showed us a video, I'll ask him about it,

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Re: Animal Testing

Postby RLHauss » Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:34 pm

Ok, since i wasn't sure who exactly to contact regarding the attendance of the Parent's Night/ Animal Testing Debate, I figured it wouldn't hurt to mention that I'll be there via the forums. Yup, thats about it. Cya all there!


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