Research gives me and many more Hope!

An interesting article on how animal research will help against the zika virus. You know transmitted via mosquitos as is the case for other diseases such as ebola or malaria. Animal research is much decried, rarely appreciated for what it does and mostly largely misunderstood by the general public.
That however does not mean it is useless, cruel or inadequate. You know when some say it, the type of research or results thereof, doesn't translate into human research or isn't applicable in humans they say it has no value. That is a wrong statement for through research we have learned about a disease, a virus or a physiological process or system.  That by itself is worth the endeavor. For some Hope is the only thing left in their fight for life! Let us not take that away too!

Now there is more going on behind the scene. Take a look at this 2008 article by Professor Colin Blakemore who teaches neuroscience at Oxford and Warwick Universities and is the former head of the UK's Medical Research Council. His conclusion speaks for itself: if we are to have any hope of treating such conditions (Alzheimer's, Multiple sclerosis,paralysis and schizophrenia), medical research needs every tool at its disposal. For everyone's sake, that must include animals. Today in 2016 this statement is as valid as it was when the article was written  and it shall remain so for the foreseeable future.
And as he did point out in the article those who oppose the use of animals in research are free to opt out from being dispensed drugs or treatments developed with the use of animals. Although I must say most of us, if vaccinated, have already been saved by animal research! Or as Lord Drayson has said it is time for us the public to ask ourselves the tough question about animal research Do I want those life saving medicines to be available to me, my family and friends? If yes then this research must continue to take place.

Another good read is this message by Hollis Cline President of the US Society for Neuroscience who reminds us the importance of basic research - such as in animal use research- in the drug development process. The eureka moment for drug development starts with a discovery in a lab. But basic research is also curiosity driven and therefore is able to produce unexpected results or greater understanding of biological processes. She warns that without a rich investment in basic research the drug development pipeline starves off.   I fully support her when she says that to accomplish the mission of improving human health we need to find the optimal balance of basic and translational research in the drug development pipeline and that means valuing and understanding every step in the process.
One of these crucial steps is animal testing let us not forget. Let us also take the time to understand its value and let us support it publicly. We all get to benefit from a healthy and well funded drug development pipeline.

I am not here to tell you what you should eat, wear, be sensitive about or not but as a father to two healthy kids and as a brother to a mentally handicapped child, let me tell you that in the light of the above hope I was referring to, it is by far not an exercise in futility to conduct animal research. It is a lifeline for many of us, who after years of giving care or of getting care have not given up the hope to one day see their loved ones, be they family, friends or total strangers cured from disease, disorder or affliction that has changed our and their lives forever. If that means conducting research on animals in an otherwise very regulated manner then you have my public support until the day it is no longer required. So let's make 2016 the year of public support to animal research. There are millions of us out there waiting for cures, a silent majority but not an immune one to the damages done by those opposing animal research. We have our voice and we will use it against you. Oh and if you happen to agree with me, please share this!

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