Understanding Animal Research

Health timeline

Our timeline displays the animal research behind the world's major medical advances. Click on a decade below for more information.

  • Pre 20th century

    Malaria parasite lifecycle • Vaccine for smallpox • Vaccine for anthrax • Early anaesthetics • Rabies vaccine • Typhoid • cholera and plague vaccines • Treatment for beriberi.

  • 1910s

    Blood transfusions.

  • 1930s

    Modern anaesthetics • Tetanus vaccine • Diphtheria vaccine • Anticoagulants.

  • 1900s

    Treatment for rickets • Corneal transplants • Local anaesthetics • Discovery of vitamin C.

  • 1920s

    Insulin • Canine distemper vaccine.

  • 1940s

    Penicillin and streptomycin • Discovery of rhesus factor • Kidney dialysis • Whooping cough vaccine • Heart-lung machine for open heart surgery.

  • 1960s

    Heart transplants • Coronary bypass surgery • German measles vaccine • MMR vaccine • Antidepressants and antipsychotics.

  • 1980s

    MRI scanning for improved diagnosis • Prenatal corticosteroids improving survival of premature babies • Treatment for river blindness • Life support systems.

  • 1950s

    Polio vaccine • Hip replacement surgery • Kidney transplants • Cardiac pacemakers • Medicines for high blood pressure and others.

  • 1970s

    CT scanning for improved diagnosis • Chemotherapy for leukaemia • Medicines to treat ulcers • Inhaled asthma medication • Migraine medication.

  • 1990s

    Combined therapy for HIV infection • Meningitis vaccines • Better medicines for depression • Medicines for breast and prostate cancer • Medicines for type 2 diabetes.

  • 2010s and the future

    Stem cells for spinal, heart and vision repair • Oral or inhaled insulin for type 1 diabetes • Angiogenesis inhibitors for cancer • Gene therapy for muscular dystrophy.

  • 2000s

    Deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's Disease • Monoclonal antibodies for cancers • Cervical cancer vaccine • Clotting agent from milk • Bird flu vaccine.