• Question: wta do you dissect animals for , and wich is ur fave ??:)

    Asked by minnie_mouse_xoxo to Louise on 18 Mar 2015.
    • Photo: Louise France

      Louise France answered on 18 Mar 2015:

      Hey minnie_mouse

      I really enjoyed chatting to you the other day!

      Unfortunately animal testing still plays a massive role in medical research, and I just want to say that the animals I used are taken from the food chain, so are going to be killed for meat anyway. The animals are not bred specifically for my research.

      When I come up with a potential solution to reverse the process of stiffening in the intervertebral discs, I have to test it on an animal – we arent allowed to test on humans right away. The dissection lets us see and feel the anatomy of the spine in situ (this means inside the body) when its attached to all the muscles etc. I take part of the spine and put it into my experiment to keep it alive. The whole process takes about an hour from killing the animal to setting up the experiment.

      Every time I use animal tissue I feed the data into a computer model of the experiment. This way I will eventually be able to simulate the experiment on a computer and wont need to use the animal tissue! However, at first we need to verify the computer model and make sure its accurate!

      I dissect sheep, pigs and cows…and also humans! I dont mind dissecting animals as its just like a piece of meat from the butchers, but dissecting humans makes me feel a little uneasy as I know that someone has died and donated their body to science. Its a little sad, and the tissue is very precious and must not be wasted – so the experiment NEEDS to work. This puts a lot of pressure on my work!

      Dissections are a great way of learning, but can be a bit gory if you cut through a blood vessel. The animal has usually only been dead for a few minutes, so its still warm inside. Gross!!

      Hope this answers your questions – feel free to ask if you want any more info or the gory details 😉