Both human and animal cells are important for research but many people may not know the uses of these cell cultures. To get an idea of their specific functions in research, these are the potential uses and studies.
Human Cell Cultures
The reason why human cells are used for research and testing is that they are more useful than animal tests when it comes to understanding human diseases and biology. Cell cultures from humans can be used to screen cancer treatments, test drugs, and even grow specific cells. The primary advantage of human cell cultures is that it allows researchers to simply a system or disease and focus on a small number of variables.
One example of human cell cultures and their use is studying cancer. Researchers can harvest cells from living or deceased donors who have developed cancer and see how those specific cancer cells grow, how the cells react to certain treatments, fuel sources for cells, and many other uses. Human cells are used to understand physiology and disease as well as a controlled early way to study treatments for specific diseases and conditions on a cellular level.
Animal Cell Cultures
Since animals share a significant amount of genetic material with humans, they can also be valuable for research. The use of animals in research is designed to help diagnose and treat diseases that affect both animals and humans. Chimpanzees, for example, share 99% of NDA with humans and mice also share a significant amount. Mice have a short life span so researchers can use harvest cells from several generations of mice to determine how genetic diseases change. Additionally, researchers can easily control the environment around animals which is more difficult to do with humans.
One example of research using animal cell cultures is studying HIV/AIDS. Researchers are still learning how HIV functions by studying its related disease in monkeys. The animal version of the disease is Simian Immunodeficiency Virus although chimpanzees can carry the disease without it being fatal. Researchers will culture cells from the animals, compare it to the HIV that affects humans and use to gain a greater understanding of the disease with a focus on potential treatments.
These are just a few examples of the numerous uses that cell cultures play in research. Both human and animal cell cultures are amazingly valuable for studies and provide a way to understand and treat conditions in a minimally invasive but extremely effective method.
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