Medical research

New study explains important cause of fatal influenza

It is largely unknown why influenza infections lead to an increased risk of bacterial pneumonia. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have now described important findings leading to so-called superinfections, which claim ...

Neuroscience

Compounds block stress-enhanced nicotine intake in rats

Stress is a major cause of relapse after people quit smoking. Worrying situations, such as money or relationship problems, can affect neurotransmitter levels in the brain, leading former smokers to reach for a cigarette. ...

Oncology & Cancer

As cancer has evolved, it is time for cancer research to do the same

The observance of Lung Cancer Awareness Month in November affords an opportunity to take stock of current approaches to lung cancer research, and to cancer research more widely. While there have been improvements in understanding, ...

Diabetes

Novel therapy approach for hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia

A new method to treat hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia has proven highly selective in targeting lesions and effective in slowing tumor growth, according to research published in the November issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine. ...

Oncology & Cancer

Antiangiogenic therapy can cause malignancy in kidney cancers

Angiogenesis is the process by which tumors create new blood vessels that will provide them the nutrients to continue growing. Antiangiogenic drugs specifically block this process. This type of therapy usually has good short-term ...

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Animal model

An animal model is a non-human animal that has a disease or injury that is similar to a human condition. These test conditions are often termed as animal models of disease. The use of animal models allows researchers to investigate disease states in ways which would be inaccessible in a human patient, performing procedures on the non-human animal that imply a level of harm that would not be considered ethical to inflict on a human.

In order to serve as a useful model, a modeled disease must be similar in etiology (mechanism of cause) and function to the human equivalent. Animal models are used to learn more about a disease, its diagnosis and its treatment. For instance, behavioral analogues of anxiety or pain in laboratory animals can be used to screen and test new drugs for the treatment of these conditions in humans. A 2000 study found that animal models predicted human toxicity in 71% of cases, with 63% for nonrodents alone and 43% for rodents alone.

Animal models of disease can be spontaneous (naturally occurring in animals), or be induced by physical, chemical or biological means. For example,

The increase in knowledge of the genomes of non-human primates and other mammals that are genetically close to humans is allowing the production of genetically engineered animal tissues, organs and even animal species which express human diseases, providing a more robust model of human diseases in an animal model.

Animal models observed in the sciences of psychology and sociology are often termed animal models of behavior.

In quantitative genetics, the term animal model is used to refer to statistical models in which phenotypic variance is compartmentalised into environmental, genetic and sometimes maternal effects. Such animal models are also known as "mixed models".

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