🔥🔥🔥 Luigi Galvani Thesis Statement

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Luigi Galvani Thesis Statement



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This field emerged in the middle of the 18th century, following the electrical researches and the discovery of the effects of electricity on the human body. The beginning of Galvani's experiments with bioelectricity has a popular legend which says that Galvani was slowly skinning a frog at a table where he and his wife had been conducting experiments with static electricity by rubbing frog skin.

Galvani's assistant touched an exposed sciatic nerve of the frog with a metal scalpel that had picked up a charge. At that moment, they saw sparks and the dead frog's leg kicked as if in life. The observation made the Galvanis the first investigators to appreciate the relationship between electricity and animation—or life. This finding provided the basis for the new understanding that the impetus behind muscle movement was electrical energy carried by a liquid ions , and not air or fluid as in earlier balloonist theories.

Galvani coined the term animal electricity to describe the force that activated the muscles of his specimens. Along with contemporaries, he regarded their activation as being generated by an electrical fluid that is carried to the muscles by the nerves. The phenomenon was dubbed galvanism , after Galvani and his wife, on the suggestion of his peer and sometime intellectual adversary Alessandro Volta. The Galvanis are properly credited with the discovery of bioelectricity. Today, the study of galvanic effects in biology is called electrophysiology , the term galvanism being used only in historical contexts.

At first, he embraced animal electricity. However, he started to doubt that the conductions were caused by specific electricity intrinsic to the animal's legs or other body parts. Volta believed that the contractions depended on the metal cable Galvani used to connect the nerves and muscles in his experiments. Volta's investigations led shortly to the invention of an early battery. Galvani believed that the animal electricity came from the muscle in its pelvis. Volta, in opposition, reasoned that the animal electricity was rather a metallic electricity caused by the interactions between the two metals involved in the experiment. Every cell has a cell potential ; biological electricity has the same chemical underpinnings as the current between electrochemical cells , and thus can be duplicated outside the body.

Volta's intuition was correct. After the controversy with Volta, Galvani kept a low profile partly because of his attitude towards the controversy, and partly because his health and spirits had declined, especially after the death of his wife, Lucia, in Since Galvani was reluctant to intervene in the controversy with Volta, he trusted his nephew, Giovanni Aldini , to act as the main defender of the theory of animal electricity. In the square dedicated to him, facing the palace of the Archiginnasio , the ancient seat of the University of Bologna , a big marble statue has been erected to the scientist while observing one of his famous frog experiments.

Liceo Ginnasio Luigi Galvani. This famous secondary school Liceo dating back to was named after Luigi Galvani. Galvani actively investigated animal electricity until the end of his life. The Cisalpine Republic , a French client state founded in after the French occupation of Northern Italy, required every university professor to swear loyalty to the new authority. Galvani, who disagreed with the social and political confusion, refused to swear loyalty, along with other colleagues. This led to the new authority depriving him of all his academic and public positions, which took every financial support away.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Italian physician, physicist, and philosopher. For other uses, see Galvani disambiguation. Bologna , Papal States. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Retrieved 31 May Collins English Dictionary. Oxford Dictionaries UK Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Brain Research Bulletin. PMID S2CID Retrieved 1 September Authority control. The theoretical frameworks by which physicians interpreted their experiments more often than not led them to misguided conclusions. Observations would be understood in light of such paradigms as the Hippocratic theory of the four humors or the Pythagorean theory of the four elements, along with others of natural or supernatural basis, and to which they added their own theoretical conceptions and observational errors [ 1 , 4 , 6 , 8 , 9 ].

The study of human or animal anatomy and physiology was hence deemed irrelevant for clinical practice. Beginning with the decline of the Roman Empire and continuing throughout the Middle Ages, physiological experiments—along with scientific activity in general—would fall almost entirely into disuse and medical knowledge would become dogmatic. In an increasingly Christianized Europe, there was little motivation to pursue scientific advancement of medical knowledge, as people became more concerned with eternal life than with worldly life, and returned to Pre-Hippocratic beliefs in supernatural causes for disease and in the healing power of faith and superstition.

The use of animal experiments to satisfy scientific enquiry would only re-emerge in the Renaissance. Flemish anatomist Vesalius — , through the course of his work as a physician and surgeon, realized that many anatomical structures thought to exist in humans—on account of them being present in other animals—were in fact absent [ 6 ]. This led him to break the established civil and religious rules and dissect illegally obtained human cadavers, and publish very accurate descriptions of the human anatomy, which challenged the authority of the classical authors. As Herophilus did centuries before but not carried on by his successors [ 1 ] Vesalius would also examine the similarities and differences between the internal structure of humans and other animals, thus setting the foundations of modern comparative anatomy.

Vesalius would again recognize the value of physiological experiments on animals as both a learning and teaching resource—he would vivisect animals for medical students as the finishing touch at the end of his courses—a view shared by his contemporary, and presumable student and rival, Realdo Colombo — [ 3 ]. Physiological experiments on animals carried on throughout the seventeenth century, in the period favorable to scientific progress now known as the Age of Enlightenment. Nonetheless, regardless of it being misinterpreted or not for a discussion see [ 21 ] , Cartesian machinism would be recurrently evoked in defense of vivisection in the 17th and 18th centuries [ 14 , 15 , 16 ].

Immanuel Kant — would reject Cartesian mechanistic views, thus acknowledging sentience to other animals. However, Kant would not extend his concept of human intrinsic and inalienable dignity to other species. Kant believed his anthropocentric philosophy provided the moral tradition and contemporary thought of his society; it was a philosophical underpinning, rather than an abstraction distant from the thoughts and feelings of the ordinary man [ 29 ]. Indeed, his argument that cruelty against animals would lead to cruelty to humans was—as it continues to be—popular amongst the public and scholars e. While he believed actions that offended human intrinsic dignity were unacceptable—no matter how laudable their ultimate purpose should be—when it came to animals it would not be the actions themselves, but rather their justification that defined the acceptability of those actions.

While the Enlightenment marked the beginning of the departure from Christian theocentrism, in the new anthropocentric view, animals continued to have no moral standing on their own. In perspective, it should be noted this was a time in which the slave market thrived and women were seen as inferior. Amidst the list of notable Western seventeenth-century physiologists using animals, the most noteworthy was undoubtedly William Harvey — , physician to kings James I and Charles I, and one of the founders of modern science. In the tradition of his own academic lineage he studied in Parma with the renowned anatomist Fabricius, a pupil of Colombo , Harvey was also a prolific and skilled comparative anatomist, whose studies on the anatomy of animals included species of several taxa, including mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles and even insects [ 37 ].

Also, blood circulation was already known in Chinese medicine sixteen centuries before Harvey [ 39 ]. Most physiologists did not expect direct therapeutic applications to result from their experiments [ 45 ]. Seventeenth-century physiology would mark the dawn of modern scientific inquiry in the life sciences. Animal experiments were now proving to be more informative and relevant for obtaining scientifically sound knowledge on basic biological processes than ever before. The seventeenth century would also witness the advent of skepticism towards experiments on animals on scientific grounds.

Physicians like Jean Riolan, Jr. This dispute between critics and advocates of the informative value of animal models of human physiology still echoes today, e. However, the acceptance of the animal-machine paradigm by many physiologists reassured them that their scientific undertakings were not cruel. Furthermore, even the many who acknowledged that animals suffered a great deal with experiments, nevertheless defended themselves against the accusation of cruelty by alleging that the suffering inflicted was not unjustified, but rather for the sake of humankind, in the same line of reasoning by which today animal research is still justified.

Nevertheless, these scientists were often overwhelmed by the extreme ill treatment they forced themselves to carry out on fully conscious animals [ 3 , 45 , 49 ]. One such investigator was Robert Boyle, whose infamous experiments on live animals on an air pump conceived by him and developed by Robert Hooke consisted in registering how animals responded to increasingly rarefied air. Public demonstrations of this experiment would become very popular in the eighteenth century, although it bore more of an entertaining, rather than educational, nature Figure 2. Currently in The National Gallery , London. Source: Wikimedia Commons. Amongst the many remarkable physiologists of the eighteenth century, polymaths Stephen Hales — and Albrecht von Haller — stood out.

Hales was responsible for the first measurement of pressure in the blood vessels, and for other important insights into cardiovascular and respiratory physiology [ 52 , 53 , 54 ]. He also gave landmark contributions to public health and other medical breakthroughs, including the invention of forceps. Von Haller was arguably the most prolific physiologist of his time, better known for his groundbreaking work on inflammation, neurophysiology, heart function, and hemodynamics [ 55 , 56 , 57 , 58 , 59 , 60 ].

Both researchers were disgusted by the gruesomeness of their own experiments and were concerned about their moral justification, but nevertheless carried on, certain of the need for the use of live animals for the comprehension of many basic physiological processes, which were yet far from being understood [ 3 , 49 , 61 , 62 ]. Other relevant landmarks of eighteenth-century biomedical science based on animal studies included the foundation of experimental pharmacology [ 63 ], electrophysiology [ 64 , 65 ], and modern embryology [ 66 ].

Despite these advancements in biological knowledge, the clinical relevance of animal studies continued to be challenged [ 3 , 61 , 62 ] and, indeed, direct benefits to human health from animal experiments would remain elusive throughout the eighteenth century [ 45 , 55 ] and well into the following century. Nor, Can they talk? But, Can they suffer? From his utilitarian philosophy standpoint i. Among philosophers and physiologists alike, the issue of discussion was now not if animals could feel or not and to what extent, but rather whether vivisection was justifiable based on the benefit for human beings derived from it.

Thus, even when researchers had strong misgivings about the inflicted suffering of animals, benefit to humans remained a valid justification for them to pursue their scientific goals through vivisection [ 61 ]. While knowledge of bodily functions and pathology was still incipient at that time, eighteen-century physiologists differed from their seventeenth-century predecessors, as they believed that medical improvements could one day be achieved through advancing knowledge by the means of animal experimentation [ 62 ].

The same rationale—that human interests took precedence over animal suffering—would also be used by nineteenth-century physicians as an ethical justification for the use of animals. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, medicine was undergoing a major revolution. The organization of medical practice was changing, with the construction of hospitals, the university training of medical doctors, and the invention of new instruments and methods for the medical profession [ 74 ]. As a result, medical practice increasingly began to focus more on understanding pathology and disease progression, pursuing more accurate diagnosis and prognosis, and thus providing reliable and useful information to patients and families, as they realized this was often the best they could do at the time.

This paradigm shift would help give more credit and recognition to medical doctors and scientists, who, at that time, were often viewed with disdain and suspicion by the general public. Another kind of medical revolution was taking place in the laboratories, one that would ultimately provide the consistent basic science on which twentieth-century modern medicine would set its foundations. This scientific revolution began with a political one. This led to a generalization of the understanding of all bodily processes as an expression of physical and chemical factors, and to a greater relevance given to animal experiments for answering scientific questions Figure 3.

This oil painting—the only secular painting known of the artist—illustrates how French scholars valued physiological experimentation in service of scientific progress [ 90 ]. Notice how the struggling of the animal does not seem to affect the physiologist or his observers. Currently part of the Wellcome Gallery collection, London. Source: Wellcome Library. Following the rationale that biology could be understood through the means of chemistry and physics, and through their pivotal animal experiments and the use of microscopy, these scientists vastly contributed to the development of anatomy, histology, pathology, embryology, neurophysiology, physiology and physics. Thousands of students flocked to attend medical schools in Germanic universities and French institutes, although to a lesser extent , many of them from across the Atlantic [ 85 , 88 , 91 , 96 , 97 ].

This, in turn, would lead to an unprecedented rise in animal research-based advancement in biological and medical knowledge in the late nineteenth century—with important consequences for public health and quality of life—as further discussed later in this text. While the second half of the nineteenth century marked the beginning of scientifically meaningful and medically relevant animal research, this period also saw opposition to vivisection becoming a more widespread idea in Europe, especially in Britain. Although animal experiments were not yet regulated in the first half of the century, the development of British physiology research in the Victorian Era was losing pace to Germany and France, where unprecedented progress in medical knowledge was taking place.

The openly antivivisectionist positions of influential jurists, politicians, literary figures, clergymen, distinguished members of the medical community, and even Queen Victoria, contributed to an unfriendly environment for animal-based medical research [ 90 , 91 ]. There was, however, also a matter of divergence of opinion between British anatomists and French physiologists on which was the best approach for obtaining medical knowledge. However, they seldom disclosed their own positive or at least ambivalent views on animal experiments as a means to corroborate findings achieved through anatomical exploration [ 90 , 98 , 99 ]. Magendie would become the arch-villain of the antivivisection movement. Despite the broad recognition of his contributions to science by most peers, he was also amongst the most infamous of his time for the disdain he held for his experimental subjects.

This contestation was louder outside of France, where many of his fellow scientists, even those who approved of animal experimentation, described him as an exceptionally cruel person who submitted animals to needless torture [ 85 , 90 , ]. At his first lecture, a basketful of live rabbits, 8 glass receivers full of frogs, two pigeons, an owl, several tortoises and a pup were the victims ready to lay down their lives for the good of science! His discourse was to explain the function of the fifth pair of nerves. The facility was very striking with which the professor could cut the nerve at its origin, by introducing a sharp instrument through the cranium, immediately behind and below the eye. Magendie drew the attention of the class to several rabbits in which the fifth pair of nerves had been divided several days before.

They were all blind of one eye, a deposition of lymph having taken place in the comes, from inflammation of the eye always following the operation alluded to, although the eye is by this section deprived of all its sensibility. Monsieur M. When the animal squeaks a little, the operator grins; when loud screams are uttered, he sometimes laughs outright. During another lecture, in demonstrating the functions of the motive and sensitive fibers of the spinal nerves, he laid bare the spinal cord in a young pup, and cut one bundle after another of nerves.

While, in fairness, it should be recognized that anesthetics had not yet been discovered when Magendie performed the bulk of his work, even after this technique had become available, he and nearly all of his students continued to forgo anesthesia in their experiments [ ]. Moreover, animal studies on the effects of anesthetics themselves Bernard was responsible for significant contributions to the understanding of the physiology of anesthesia: for an overview, see references [ , ] were performed, as well as anatomical studies that could well have been conducted with cadavers, with no need for animals to be exposed to such prolonged suffering. By that time, Magendie had been dead for over twenty years [ 82 , 90 , ]. He would, however, die a national hero, being given the first state funeral ever to be granted to a scientist in France.

In his later years, he would collect the highest academic and political honors, including a seat in the French senate [ 88 , , , ]. Despite their utter disregard for animal suffering, Magendie and Bernard did not see themselves as the immoral senseless villains portrayed by their detractors, but rather as humanists. Indeed, their view that animals did not deserve the same moral consideration as humans made them condemn experiments in humans without previous work on animals, the general principle on which the use of animal models in biomedical science is still grounded.

The amorality of human experiments prior to animal testing in animals was also an ethical argument raised in favor of vivisection by Bernard [ 89 ], who wrote:. No hesitation is possible, the science of life can be established only by experiment, and we can save living beings from death only by sacrificing others. Experiments must be made either on man or on animals. Now I think physicians already make too many dangerous experiments on man, before carefully studying them on animals. I do not admit that it is moral to try more or less dangerous or active remedies on patients, without first experimenting with them on dogs; for I shall prove, further on, that results obtained on animals may all be conclusive for man when we know how to experiment properly.

If it is immoral, then, to make an experiment on man when it is dangerous to him, even though the result may be useful to others, it is essentially moral to do experiments on an animal, even though painful and dangerous to him, if they may be useful to man. In fact, even before the solidifying of the antivivisectionist struggle, British physiologists had set themselves guidelines for responsible research [ , ]. Nevertheless, many researchers still found the analgesic and anesthetic effect of these volatile agents to be a source of undesired variability, thus avoiding their use altogether [ 99 , ]. The upsurge of animal research in Britain was accompanied by an intensification of the antivivisectionist struggle.

In , the first animal protection society with the specific aim of abolishing animal experiments was founded: the Victoria Street Society for the Protection of Animals Liable to Vivisection later known as the National Anti-Vivisection Society , led by Irish feminist, suffragist, and animal advocate Frances Power Cobbe — As the original argument of antivivisectionists that animal research was inacceptable because it did not provide useful medical knowledge began to lose strength however, it remained a recurrent accusation against animal research, see, for instance, [ ] , the discussion shifted towards preventing unnecessary harm, rather than questioning the scientific value of animal experiments [ 99 ].

On the other hand, the use of anesthetics now allowed British scientists to argue that most physiological experiments involved little, if any, pain [ , , ]. While this made some antivivisectionists ponder about their own standing on the use of animals in research—namely those who opposed vivisection on the grounds that the intense and prolonged suffering endured by animals on the physiologist table was intolerable—many others felt that the most relevant value at stake was the preservation of each animal life in itself, questioning if human benefit was sufficient reason for sacrificing animals [ 99 , ]. Moreover, the claim that animals were rendered senseless to pain gave carte blanche to many physiologists to use as many animals as they pleased for research, teaching, and demonstrations, despite anesthesia often being improperly administered, thus failing to prevent suffering for more than the brief initial moments.

These views included outright abolitionism and, on the opposite pole, scientists demanding to be allowed to work without restrictions; non-scientists accusing researchers to be self-biased and unable to think ethically about their work and, on the other side of the barricade, researchers disdaining the authority of non-scientists to criticize their work; the benefit for humankind argument vs. Just like today, there were also those who valued both animal protection and scientific progress and, recognizing that each side had both relevant and fallacious arguments, found themselves in the middle-ground, where they sought ways for compromise and progress.

Amongst these, the most notable was Charles Darwin, known for his affection to animals and abhorrence for any kind of cruelty, but also for his commitment to scientific reasoning and progress [ , , ]. Additionally, Joseph Lister — , one of the most influential physicians of his time, would decline a request by Queen Victoria in for him to speak out against vivisection.

Lister was one of the few British surgeons that carried out vivisection, albeit only occasionally, and was acquainted with some of the most eminent continental physiologists. In his response letter to the Queen, he pointed out the importance of animal experiments for the advancement of medical knowledge, stressed that anesthetics should be used at all times, and also denounced the ill treatment of animals in sports, cruel training methods, and artificial fattening of animals for human consumption as being more cruel than their use in research [ ].

Despite coming from opposite ends , both bills proposed reasonable regulation of animal experiments, rather than demanding severe restriction or granting scientists unlimited rights to use animals. The crucial difference was that the Henniker bill called for all researchers and all kinds of experiments to be properly licensed and supervised, as it is today in Great Britain, while the Playfair bill proposed that the law should only be applied to painful experiments. In the absence of parliamentary consensus for either one or the other bill, a Royal Commission—properly balanced to include members of the RSPCA and a few eminent scientists, including T.

Huxley—was appointed that same year to address this issue, which would result in the amendment of the Cruelty to Animals Act in order to regulate the use of animals for scientific purposes, being the first case of this kind of legislation in the world [ 99 , , , ]. This bill would endure for years, until the enactment of the Animals Scientific Procedures Act, and remain the only known legislation to regulate animal experiments for nearly 50 years, despite some attempts to pass similar bills in other Western countries, where antivivisectionism was growing, particularly in Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, and North America [ 14 , ]. The recrudescence and spread of antivivisection feelings in the late nineteenth century was coincidental with the long-awaited beginning of direct clinical and public health benefit from animal research.

Before the end of the century, the germ theory of infectious diseases— i. This knowledge would have an immediate, profound, and enduring effect on public health, surgery and medicine. Although it had been earlier proposed by Ignaz P. Until then, previous efforts to make hand-washing a standard procedure had been ridiculed by the medical class. Pasteur, a professor of chemistry with a doctoral thesis on crystallography, would turn his attention to biology in [ ]. Together with Claude Bernard, a close friend, he would later develop the process of pasteurization to destroy microorganisms in food. Pasteur began hypothesizing that microbes could also be the causative agents of many diseases affecting humans and other animals. Pasteur would frequently receive hate letters and threats, mostly for his infection studies on dogs, although he also used chickens, rabbits, rodents, pigs, cows, sheep, and non-human primates Figure 4.

Pasteur was, however, more sensitive to animal suffering than most of his French counterparts. Not only was he uneasy with the experiments conducted—although sure of their necessity—he would also always insist animals be anesthetized whenever possible to prevent unnecessary suffering. Furthermore, he would become directly responsible for saving countless animals from the burden of disease and subsequent culling [ 5 , , , , ]. In the article, the reader is reassured that the use of dogs is both humane and justified in the interest of mankind. The use of other species, however, is barely mentioned [ 5 ]. Source: Images from the History of Medicine , U. National Library of Science. The overlapping interest of Pasteur and Koch on anthrax would trigger a bitter rivalry between the two, fuelled by their different approaches to microbiology, as well as chauvinistic Germany—France rivalry [ , ].

This included Emil von Behring — and Paul Ehrlich — , both responsible for the first antitoxin for treatment of diphtheria—developed from horse serum—for which von Behring received the Nobel Prize in Von Behring would also develop an antitoxin for immunization against tetanus, along with Shibasaburo Kitasato — , who had also studied under Koch. In , Ehrlich would also be awarded the Nobel Prize for contributions to immunology, and would yet again be nominated for his contributions to chemotherapy and the development of Salvasaran an effective treatment against syphilis , in particular [ , , , ].

The development and production of vaccines and antitoxins led to a dramatic increase in the number of animals used in research. The number of animals used by physiologists in the nineteenth century would be negligible in comparison with the several hundred used by Pasteur to develop, test, and produce vaccines, the thousands of mice used by Paul Ehrlich for the production of Salvasaran—his syphilis drug—and the millions of primates that would be used to produce Polio vaccines in the s [ 5 ].

By the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century, the pharmacopeia had effective, scientifically tested drugs, a landmark that allowed for an increasing number of people to understand the importance and validity of scientifically sound medical knowledge and, with it, the relevance of animal-based research see [ , , , ]. One could still find as far as the end of the nineteenth century, however, physicians who disregarded the ideals of scientific medicine and vigorously stood by their traditional epistemological view of medicine and clinical practice, which they saw as more of a form of art than as a science.

Many such physicians also opposed experiments on live animals and were members of antivivisection societies [ 77 , , , ]. Nonetheless, the medical profession, medicine itself, and human health had now been irreversibly changed by science, and would continue to be pushed forward throughout the twentieth century to now. The twentieth century would witness astonishing advances in medical knowledge and the treatment of disease. The advances of biomedical research to human health since the dawn of the past century are countless, with animal research playing a role in a number of important discoveries for an overview, see [ ].

Of the Nobel Prizes in physiology or medicine given since , on 83 occasions work conducted on vertebrate species other than human was awarded, while in another four instances, research relied heavily on results obtained from animal experiments in vertebrates conducted by other groups [ ]. Another indirect measure of the impact that biomedical progress had on the twentieth century was the increase in life expectancy, which in some developed countries doubled between and , and is still on the rise today [ , , ].

The argument that no medical progress could be obtained through animal research was becoming increasingly difficult to uphold and, as researchers pledged to avoid animal suffering whenever possible, criticism of animal experiments on the grounds of cruelty toned down. However, not all scientists had sufficient, if any, consideration for animal suffering, and research would continue to be unregulated in most countries. Nevertheless, the exaggerated claims, radical abolitionist views, and scientific denialism by more inflexible antivivisectionists would make them lose support from the general public and more moderate animal protection groups, leading to a decline—albeit not an end—to the antivivisection movement, until its resurgence in the s.

Confronted with a general lack of support, moreover in a period that would witness two great world wars and a serious economic recession—which would push the interests of animals further to the background—the line of action of antivivisectionists through most of the twentieth century focused on banning the use of dogs and other companion animals [ 5 , , , , ]. The toning down of the opposition to animal use in the life sciences had also something to do with the emergence of rodent species as a recurrent animal model in research. Unlike dogs or horses, rodents like mice and rats were seen as despicable creatures by most of the public, and therefore less worthy of moral consideration, which in turn deemed their use in research more acceptable [ ].

Firstly, they are small, easy to handle, and relatively cheap to house. Secondly, they are highly resistant to successive inbreeding and have a short lifespan and rapid reproduction rate [ , ]. Domesticated rats Rattus norvegicus were the first rodent species to be used for scientific purposes. Their use in physiological research dates to as early as , but only in the first decades of the twentieth century did they become a preferred tool in research, after the development in of the first standard rat strain, the Wistar Rat , from which half of all rats used in laboratories today are estimated to have descended for a historical perspective, see [ , ] Figure 5.

The mouse Mus musculus had also been used in the nineteenth century, famously by Gregor Mendel in his s studies on heredity of coat color, until the local bishop censored mouse rearing as inappropriate for a priest, which made him turn to using peas instead [ ]. In John Gordon and Franck Ruddle developed the first transgenic mouse [ ], and in , the first gene knockout model was produced, which granted Mario R. Capecchi born , Martin J. Evans born , and Oliver Smithies born the Nobel Prize. In , the mouse became the second mammal, after humans, to have its whole genome sequenced. These, along with other technologies, have opened unlimited possibilities for the understanding of gene function and their influence in several genetic and non-genetic diseases, and have made the mouse the most commonly used animal model in our day for a historical overview of the use of the mouse model in research, see [ , ] , with prospects being that it will continue to have a central role in biomedicine in the foreseeable future.

Two outbred laboratory rats, of the Lister Hooded Long—Evans strain. Opposition to animal experiments resurged in the second half of the twentieth century, in particular after the publication of Animal Liberation by Australian philosopher Peter Singer born [ ]. Singer offered a strong philosophical grounding for the animal rights movement, by arguing that the use of animals in research—as well as for food, clothing or any other purpose—is mostly based on the principle of speciesism coined by Richard Ryder in [ ] , under which animals are attributed a lower moral value on the sole basis of belonging to a different species [ ], which he considers to be no less justifiable than racism or sexism.

His argument, however, does not stem from the premise that animals have intrinsic rights. Furthermore, it is usually unfeasible to prospectively quantify how many may benefit directly from a given animal experiment. According to Singer, by using the principle of equal consideration of interests, one should give priority to relieving the greater suffering. Singer does not propose we should assume different species suffer similarly under the same conditions but, on the contrary, that care should be taken when comparing the interests of different species as, for instance, a human cancer patient, for his higher cognitive skills, can suffer a great deal more than a mouse with the same disease [ ].

For this reason, he does not consider animal research to always be morally wrong in principle, and even admits that in certain occasions it may be justifiable, albeit these situations are, in his view, exceptional [ ]. This perspective inherently affords vertebrates rights, despite their incapacity to understand or demand such rights, as it is also the case—Regan argues—of small infants and the severely mentally handicapped. Hence, the respect for the life and wellbeing of sentient animals should be taken as absolute moral values, which can only be violated in very specific and extreme cases—such as self-defense.

However, despite the diversity of philosophical views on the use of animals, the public debate on animal research would become polarized between animal rights activists and animal research advocates. While the first would uphold an uncompromising abolitionist stand, one could also find on the opposite side several persons who did not regard animal research as a moral issue at all [ ]. In the s, animal rights extremist groups began resorting to terrorist actions, thus becoming a serious problem for researchers and authorities in several Western countries still today.

These actions more often consist of trespassing, raiding animal facilities and laboratories, damage to property, harassment and death threats to researchers, their families and neighbors. It has also sometimes escalated into kidnapping, car and mail bombings, arson of homes and research facilities, mailing of AIDS-contaminated razorblades, and violence against scientists and their family members [ , ]. A large advertisement published in the 13 May edition of The Hour p.

These dramatic and biased portraits of animal research are now more uncommon, as an increasing number of scientists acknowledge the need to be more candid and open to objective discussion over the possibilities and limitations of animal research, and of the scientific process altogether. In spite of the emergence of the animal rights movement, animal research for biomedical purposes was—as it continues to be—seen as morally acceptable by the majority of the public [ , ].

It became, however, increasingly evident that animal suffering was morally and socially relevant, and that an ethical balance between the benefits brought about by biomedical progress and the due consideration to animal wellbeing should be sought. However, whilst antivivisection movements would only re-emerge in the late s [ 5 , ], the need for a more humane science had already been acknowledged and addressed within the scientific community as early as the s. They also challenged the commonly held belief that vertebrate animals—and mammals in particular—are always the most suitable models in biomedical research, a reasoning they called the high-fidelity fallacy.

The Three Rs approach would provide an ethically and scientifically sound framework on which a reformist approach to the use of animals in biomedicine could be grounded. It would also set the stage for a more moderate advocacy of animal rights to appear: while remaining incompatible with an abolitionist animal rights perspective, this paradigm grants animals something like a right to protection from suffering, or at least certain suffering beyond a defined threshold [ ], preserving the central idea that there are absolute and non-negotiable limits to what can be done to animals.

Utilitarian philosopher Raymond G. As Peter Medawar had predicted in the s, the number of animals used in research would peak in the s and start to decline thereafter, although the number of biomedical papers has since then more than doubled [ , , , , , ]. This data is, however, limited to the Western world, as statistics on animal use in emerging countries such as India and China are unavailable [ ], and there is no way to assess if and, if so, to what extent the decline in numbers of animals used in Western countries may be attributed to the outsourcing of animal experiments to these emerging countries.

In recent years, the rise in the use of genetically modified animals has led to the stabilization of what would otherwise be a continuously downward trend [ , ] Figure 7. This schematic illustration adapted with permission from an original by Professor Bert van Zupthen attempts to describe trends in the use of animals for scientific purposes in the Western world across time. It depicts the emergence of the first vivisection studies by classical Greek physicians, the absence of animal-based research—along with most medical and scientific research—across the Middle Ages, its resurgence in the Renaissance onwards, and the rapid increase in animal studies following the rise of science-based physiology and medicine in the nineteenth century.

The curves represented are nevertheless conjectural, as there are no reliable statistics on animal use for most of the period covered. Even nowadays it is hard to estimate trends in animal research, as data from several developed countries is insufficient for instance, in the United States, rodents, fish and birds are not accounted for in the statistics. The available data, however, suggest that the number of animals used in research and testing in the Western world peaked in the s, and decreased until the late s, or early s, to about half the number of 30 years earlier, and stabilizing in recent years. While many, if not most, researchers do not foresee an end to animal experiments in biomedicine, the European Commission has nevertheless set full replacement of animal experiments as an ultimate goal [ ], and the Humane Society of the United States has the optimistic goal of full replacement by the year [ ].

The Three Rs would also become the overarching principle of several legislative documents regulating animal use in science since the s including the latest European legislation [ ]. Most recently, biomedical researchers in both industry and academia have also acknowledged the central importance of the Three Rs and the need for more transparency regarding animal use in biomedical research through the Basel Declaration [ , ].

More important, there are currently thousands of scientists devoted to the progress of animal welfare and development of alternatives to animal use in the life sciences. The historical controversy surrounding animal research is far from being settled. While the key arguments in this debate have not differed significantly since the rise of antivivisectionism in nineteenth-century England—and even before—we have since then moved a long way forward in regards to the protection of animals used in research and transparency regarding such use. While animal experiments have played a vital role in scientific and biomedical progress and are likely to continue to do so in the foreseeable future, it is nonetheless important to keep focusing on the continuous improvement of the wellbeing of laboratory animals, as well as further development of replacement alternatives for animal experiments.

Anna S. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List Animals Basel v. Animals Basel. Published online Mar Nuno Henrique Franco. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Simple Summary This article reviews the use of non-human animals in biomedical research from a historical viewpoint, providing an insight into the most relevant social and moral issues on this topic across time, as well as to how the current paradigm for ethically and publically acceptable use of animals in biomedicine has been achieved.

Abstract The use of non-human animals in biomedical research has given important contributions to the medical progress achieved in our day, but it has also been a cause of heated public, scientific and philosophical discussion for hundreds of years. Keywords: animal research, animal testing, biomedical research, animal ethics, history of science. Introduction Animal experimentation has played a central role in biomedical research throughout history. From Antiquity to the Renaissance Humans have been using other vertebrate animal species referred to henceforth as animals as models of their anatomy and physiology since the dawn of medicine.

Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Enlightenment Physiological experiments on animals carried on throughout the seventeenth century, in the period favorable to scientific progress now known as the Age of Enlightenment. Open in a separate window. Figure 1. Figure 2. Eighteenth Century and the Rise of Moral Consideration for Animals Amongst the many remarkable physiologists of the eighteenth century, polymaths Stephen Hales — and Albrecht von Haller — stood out. The Nineteenth-Century Medical Revolution and the Upsurge of the Antivivisection Societies By the beginning of the nineteenth century, medicine was undergoing a major revolution. Figure 3. Figure 4. The Twentieth-Century Triumph of Science-Based Medicine By the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century, the pharmacopeia had effective, scientifically tested drugs, a landmark that allowed for an increasing number of people to understand the importance and validity of scientifically sound medical knowledge and, with it, the relevance of animal-based research see [ , , , ].

Figure 5. Animal Liberation and the Pathway for a More Humane Science Opposition to animal experiments resurged in the second half of the twentieth century, in particular after the publication of Animal Liberation by Australian philosopher Peter Singer born [ ]. Figure 6. Figure 7. Conclusion The historical controversy surrounding animal research is far from being settled. Conflict of Interest The author declares no conflict of interest. References and Notes 1. Court W. Pharmacy from the ancient world to AD. In: Anderson S. Pharmaceutical Press; London, UK: Maehle A. Animal experimentation from antiquity to the end of the eighteenth century: Attitudes and arguments. In: Rupke N. Vivisection in Historical Perspective. Croom Helm; London, UK: Geller M.

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The use of Luigi Galvani Thesis Statement experiments to satisfy scientific enquiry would only Luigi Galvani Thesis Statement in the Renaissance. Luigi Galvani Thesis Statement impact of Stephen Hales Luigi Galvani Thesis Statement medicine. Luigi Galvani Thesis Statement F. The Cisalpine Republica Luigi Galvani Thesis Statement client state founded in after the French occupation Luigi Galvani Thesis Statement Northern Italy, required Transcendentalism In High Schools Luigi Galvani Thesis Statement professor to swear loyalty to the new authority. Sztybel D.