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August 1970

The Right Animal for the Right Experiment

Author Affiliations

Albany, NY

Arch Ophthalmol. 1970;84(2):129. doi:10.1001/archopht.1970.00990040131001

THE RESEARCHER studying a disease of humans often attempts to produce an experimental model in one of the common laboratory animals. He then attempts to alter various factors in an effort to learn more of the disease state he has produced. The argument for this type of research is that with a normal animal, the changes which are introduced are controlled, and thus the experiment is "clean," with as few extraneous factors as possible. Recently, the argument has been narrowed to the suggestion that in primates the findings might be analogous to those of human disease states. In view of the expense, it is surprising that only an occasional investigator has done the reverse, namely, studied disease states which occur naturally in animals and are analogous to the human.

One of the reasons for seeking natural diseases in animals has been the recent cut-back in research grants. The researcher who

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