Of mice and medicine
Subtitled In defence of animal experiments, the Independent published a four-page article in Saturday's Magazine about how animal research is 'transforming human lives'. Journalist Paul Vallely and photographer Kalpesh Lathigra came to this conclusion after visiting London-based university research facilities and talking to researchers about their work. The article was very much based on these visits and background factual information about the numbers of animals used and how research is regulated, much of which can be found on this website.
Paul Vallely saw research using rodents and zebrafish – the animals used in largest numbers in research – and criticised antivivisection groups for their emotive and misleading focus on dogs, cats and monkeys, used in less than half of one percent of research. He saw research that aimed to understand and treat hearing problems, Parkinson's disease, spinal injury and stroke as well as more basic research on cell migration, embryonic development and visual pathways.
The article also covered the extensive use of non-animal methods in bioscientific research, but explained that 'diseases of the whole body can only be studied in the body', to quote Professor Roger Morris of King's College London.