Opening the lab door

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Science  29 Jun 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6396, pp. 1392-1395
DOI: 10.1126/science.360.6396.1392

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  • RE: Opening the Lab Door

    Dear Editor,

    The success several animal rights activists have had shutting down animal research projects this year hardly represents a victory for animal rights ("Opening the Lab Door," June 29). Animals themselves have long been -- and continue to be -- among the prime beneficiaries of animal research.

    Such research has yielded vaccines against rabies, infectious hepatitis, and feline leukemia; surgeries to help pets with joint pain; and procedures for performing organ transplants in pets.

    A clinical trial of a drug used in humans to slow the progression of cancer has already extended the life of at least one dog this year, a terrier mix from Maryland with hemangiosarcoma. Researchers hope the drug could help many more dogs.

    And there are plenty of other research initiatives in animals that are showing promise. Researchers at the University of California, Davis, are studying a breakthrough drug that could aid cats with diabetes. Colorado State University scientists are working on a therapy for dogs with epilepsy. And veterinary scientists at seven universities just won grants from the Morris Animal Foundation to study new therapies for horses and alpacas -- like treatments for musculoskeletal injuries and a vaccine for pneumonia.

    Animal research has prolonged and enhanced the lives of millions of animals. People who claim to love animals should support animal research.


    Matthew R. Bailey

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    Competing Interests: None declared.

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