Animals really are man's best research friend

INDIA - Breakthroughs in animal medicine are increasingly leading to new discoveries which could help humans.

Leading veterinary schools across the country are involved in a range of research which could result in new treatments for some of the most serious human diseases such as cancer, HIV, avian flu, CJD, sleeping sickness and river blindness.

Work on arthritis and paralysis is also thought to have the potential to alleviate human as well as animal suffering.

Leading vets said the gap between the two forms of medicine was becoming increasingly blurred, while animal rights activists welcomed the potential for spin-offs from new treatments for cows, sheep, dogs, cats and others, which would help humans.

Earlier this month, the World Health Organisation warned that 30 animal viruses had mutated into conditions which could infect humans in the past 30 years and it is thought this is one area where veterinary research could prove invaluable.

Dr Nick Jeffery, of Cambridge University’s vet school, said work being carried out there on a vaccine against avian flu in birds could potentially help develop a vaccine against the human form of the virus.

calendar icon 19 April 2005
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