Using Animal Models
Animals — from mice to monkeys — have a remarkably similar physiology and anatomy to humans. Our organs (brain, heart, lungs, etc.) and their systems (nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory, etc.) perform so similarly to theirs, that nearly 90% of the veterinary medicines used to treat animals are the same as (or very close to) human medicines.
The minor differences are far outweighed by the similarities, which means that even though we do not look like animals, our healthcare treatments can be very similar to those developed on animals.
Did you know we share approximately 99% of our DNA with mice?
Genetically, we can recreate diseases in mice and work backwards to trace what genes carry or are more susceptible to certain outcomes.
Anatomically, we can find structural similarities and differences in brain function.
Socially, we can observe the behaviors of animals that communicate, live together, work, etc. and map the onset, influence, treatments and interventions on socially-challenged animals.
Practically, mice are a cost-effective and efficient tool to speed research and the development of drug therapies. Mice are small, have a short generation time and an accelerated lifespan (1 mouse year equals about 30 human years), keeping the costs, space, and time required to perform research manageable.
Animal models afford scientists the closest approximation to a human response without having to do the abovementioned work on humans unethically.
Sensory Processing in Animal Models