Over the last century, biomedical research has produced phenomenal numbers of accomplishments with translation into many pragmatic medical uses. Thus, treatment of viral and bacterial diseases, surgical remedy of inherited or acquired maladies, pharmaceutical treatment of malfunctioning physiological processes, and nutritional or pharmaceutical treatment or prophylaxis for disease or malfunction of environmental, genetic, or unknown etiology have each progressed to a highly scientific form of medical practice. Essentially all biomedical research requires animal models. It is not feasible and is many times unethical to perform exploratory research on humans. Progress in the science and art of medical practice is and will continue to be dependent on the use of appropriate animal models. Given considerable knowledge about a particular biological phenomenon, some animal experiments can be replaced with cell-culture studies or computer simulation. However, because of limited knowledge, it will be many years before these simpler systems will suffice. Furthermore, the complexity and strong tendency to achieve homeostasis in the intact animal make extrapolation from simulation and experiments in vitro difficult.
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