• Question: On your information page its say about using friut flies i was wondering if you run tests on them and maybe harm them in some kind of one ( using animal testing )

    Asked by scwarlett to Mariam on 14 Jun 2010 in Categories: .
    • Photo: Mariam Orme

      Mariam Orme answered on 14 Jun 2010:

      Yes, I do work on fruit flies. I don’t exactly run tests on them, rather I use them to do all sorts of genetic tricks to try and understand how different genes work together to control cell death. A lot of my experiments don’t cause any harm at all to the flies, but sometimes I do have to kill them. I always make sure they are anaesthetised first, so they don’t suffer.

      Work on animals is a difficult issue; how do you feel about it? Whenever possible, scientists try to find ways of doing experiments without using animals. But for some questions, you really have to use animals to understand how things work in real life, rather than in a dish of cells. Work done with animals is crucial for understanding human diseases like cancer, and also for testing new drugs to make sure they’re safe to give to humans. There are very strict rules about doing experiments with animals, to make sure that they don’t suffer.