Understanding ourselves by studying the animal kingdom

November 11, 2013

SAN DIEGO -- Research released today reveals a new model for a genetic eye disease, and shows how animal models -- from fruit flies to armadillos and monkeys -- can yield valuable information about the human brain. The findings were presented at Neuroscience 2013, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world's largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.

Animal models have long been central in how we understand the human brain, behavior, and nervous system due to similarities in many brain areas and functions across species. Almost every major medical advance in the last century was made possible by carefully regulated, humane animal research. Today's findings build on this rich history and demonstrate what animals can teach us about ourselves.

Today's new findings show that: Other recent findings discussed show that: "Neuroscience has always relied on responsible animal research to better understand how our brains and bodies develop, function, and break down," said press conference moderator Leslie Tolbert, of the University of Arizona, whose work in insects provides insights into brain development. "Today's studies reveal new ways that research on unlikely-seeming animals, such as armadillos, fruit flies, and worms, could have real impact on our understanding of the human brain and what can go wrong in disease."
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This research was supported by national funding agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, as well as private and philanthropic organizations. Find more information on animal models at BrainFacts.org.

Society for Neuroscience

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