Friday, July 25

Robots Replace Animals!!

By Deeksh

Scientists have been using animals for testing since years. It is estimated that 50 to 100 million vertebrate animals worldwide — from fish to non-human primates — are used annually.

Using animals in these testing is highly controversial.

Though, the U.S. and British governments both support the advancement of medical and scientific goals using animal testing, provided that the testing minimizes animal use and suffering.

Animals are used in testing personal goods such as shampoos to some highly toxic chemicals.

Is there any alternative?

YES it is – says Christopher Austin, Director, Chemical Genomics Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.

Mr. Austin says that, in future, robots might replace animal testing in screening for environmental toxins.

He believes that over the course of the next five to ten years that this (using robots) approach will refine, reduce, and ultimately replace the number of animals that are used in toxicology testing.

The process is slow, it’s expensive, it is not necessarily predicative of human toxicity, and it’s become increasingly discouraged by the public, said Mr. Austin.

According to Mr. Austin, the new method grows cells on small trays. Each tray may have over 1,500 different chambers, each chamber holding just a few cells to be tested. Robots working 24/7 quickly handle and process the information, which translates to whether a chemical might be harmful to a human being.

Mr. Austin said the new process works, and should be widely used in the next few years. That’s good news for those who feel for the plightof animals that undergo testing.

It’s really noble idea to develop new testing methods to replace these animals.

Yes – rabbits, mice and rats are cheap and readily replaceable, but that doesn’t mean we have ‘rights’ to divest their rights to live on this planet.

I, personally think that, robots may not represent the exact real reactions to these tests, we might still depend on these animals for few more decades, and it’s good to know that scientists are working on the right track – AI.

But how long this abuse on animals in the name of ‘research’ continues…

Did you know:

Types of vertebrates used in animal testing in Europe in 2005: a total of 12.1 million animals were used.


  1. wow...pretty lives....

  2. Truly a noble thought, but I do have one question. To what extent can a robot mimic an test animal, especially in situations where these animals are used as disease models.

  3. we should simply use animals dude
    no machines can play animal or human
    it is animals
    they are for eating and for such useful causes
    how many of us aren't non-vegies
    when that is acceptable why not this lol
    i like your love to robots deeksh
    this posts says that

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  5. Deeksh, wonderful idea, this really made me so happy! I hope animal testing of deadly chemicals will be replaced by robot testing soon!!!More than 3.1 million experiments in the U.K. were carried out on animals in 2006. Of these more than 420,000 were done to test the safety of chemicals. I really wish that these robots soon replace millions of rats and mice currently used in toxicity studies..and save their lives!!! This is a significant change in the perspective of U.S. agencies, which have historically relied heavily on animal testing out of habit and have been resistant to change!!!

  6. Rocksta, a valid & interesting question! I googled about this to know if robots can be used as disease models..and found something interesting! A ROBOT brain has been developed by Sheffield University scientists, which could unlock the secrets of a series of mysterious diseases! The 'brain-bot', a new device which is part-controlled by a computer model recreating circuits inside the human brain. It is hoped the scientists will be able to make breakthroughs in how the brain is affected by Parkinson's disease, Huntingdon's disease, schizophrenia and Tourette's syndrome. The robot is controlled by a model of the basal ganglia, the part of the brain which is concerned with deciding, what is the best course of action to take, in any given circumstance. The aim is to get a better and more detailed understanding of how the brain works. Researchers have been investigating how changing levels of the important brain chemical dopamine can affect behavior. The artificial brain was programmed to behave like a rat, an animal with a similar ganglia function and behavioral impulses. Brain-bots are fairly new technology but it seems that they have great potential for the future of bio-research!!!

  7. @ Shilz

    Thats really cutting edge technology. But only a part of the living system was mimicked here. I know its a small stepping stone for larger things to come. Still I am skeptical whether Science can fully mimic a living animal. Thanks for the info.


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