Alzheimer’s disease is the commonest form of dementia and is one of society’s most costly health problems, affecting about half a million people in the UK today.
Asthma is the most common serious childhood illness and still causes about 2,000 deaths a year in the UK.
Blood clotting (coagulation) disturbs blood flow, and is essential to us, for example to ensure we stop bleeding after a cut.
More than 42,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed each year in the UK, making it the most common cancer in women after non-melanoma skin cancer.
Animals have been used extensively to research Covid-19, especially during the early days of the pandemic as very little was known about the virus. Research using animals was crucial to the development of all of the coronavirus vaccines that have been licensed for use in the United Kingdom.
The Nobel Prize-winning discovery of insulin in 1920-21 at the University of Toronto is one of the most spectacular examples of the contribution of animal research to medical progress.
The zebrafish - which can mend its own heart muscle - is providing clues to heart failure, which affects 750,000 people in the UK.
High blood pressure
Research into Brazilian pit viper venom produced the first in a new class of medicines to lower blood pressure - angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)
History of the heart-lung machine
The cardiopulmonary bypass pump, or ‘heart-lung machine’ as it is commonly known, can take on the role of the heart and lungs during cardiac surgery. Operating on a beating heart is extremely difficult, and the heart-lung machine allows blood to bypass the heart while surgeons work.
HIV & AIDS
First reported in 1981, AIDS was quickly shown to be a mysterious epidemic which spread with no known cause.
Leukaemia & other blood cancers
Leukaemia is a group of cancers which affect the white blood cells. In healthy bodies, white blood cells fight infection, but in leukaemia the cells multiply in the bone marrow in an uncontrolled way.
Vaccines for several types of meningitis have been developed in mice and have resulted in a huge fall in the disease.
Migraine is a disorder usually involving headaches, which can be debilitating, and affects around six million people in the UK.
Muscular dystrophy (MD) is a rare genetic condition in which, slowly and progressively, the muscles waste.
Animal studies early in the 20th century - for instance learning how to sew together (suture) blood vessels - led to the first reported cases of animal heart transplants in the 1930s and 1940s.
Organ transplants have improved the quality - and length - of life for millions of people across the world.
Parkinson's Disease is a progressive disorder that causes problems with movement, including tremor, muscle rigidity and slowness.
Florey and Chain first tested the effects of penicillin in mice in 1940. By 1941, penicillin was being used to treat dying soldiers. This research won the Nobel Prize in 1945.
This advance alone has saved millions of lives, and the World Health Organisation is close to eradicating polio completely through its worldwide vaccination programme.
Pompe disease (glycogen storage disease type 2, acid maltase deficiency) is a rare genetic disorder which causes progressive muscle weakness.
In 1870, infant death rates reached their peak, with almost one in four babies dying at birth.