Why do animal studies?

This module is written by Merel Ritskes-Hoitinga and Judith van Luijk working on systematic reviews of preclinical animal studies at SYRCLE (SYstematic Review Center for Laboratory animal Experimentation, http://www.syrcle.nl), Radboud University Medical Center.

Animals can be used as experimental subjects in order to learn more on biology and medicine. Big discoveries have arisen from this type of research, and many Nobel prizes have been awarded for the outcome of animal experiments, and as such we can be thankful to the animals. When developing new treatments and drugs, our legislation demands animal testing for demonstrating safety and efficacy, before humans (or other nonhuman target animals) are being exposed.  (see e.g. the FDA Animal Rule (FDA))