Conclusions

Biomedical research is dependent on animal models. The classical animal models were and still are rodent models. Mice are particularly relevant today because of the capacity for genetic manipulation. Large animals have always been used for specialized purposes, e.g., the dog as a cardiovascular model. Of the agricultural species, the pig is the most prevalent model. Much of its anatomy, nutrition, and physiology are similar to the human's, making it the most appropriate model for many aspects of biomedical research. Sheep have also been used but are limited as models because of the specialized nutrition and metabolism dependent on the rumen. Regardless of the extent of use, species are unique and extrapolation across species must be qualified.

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