Drugs are usually tested by using lab rats. Scientist want to see what type of reaction the drug will have on the test subjects before humans get their hands on it. In the article, "Virtual Lab Rats Could Replace Living Animals in Early Drug Testing," some scientists are trying to save the test subjects from any more harm, so they have created a VIRTUAL LAB RAT.
A team at the University of Oxford created a computer simulation software, named "Virtual Assay". The model is made of human cardiac cells and the team ran various simulations to see what the affects of 62 drugs would have on the cells. The model succeeded in finding which drugs would be harmful to the heart and which created an irregular heartbeat. The model impressively did a better job at predicting an irregular heartbeat by 86%; compared to rabbits, who could only predict if a drug caused arrhythmia, an irregular heartbeat, by 75%. The accuracy the model has brought could potentially eliminate all real lab test subjects. The computer model can also help scientist understand CANCER, a disease in which abnormal cells divide uncontrollably and destroy body tissue, and genetic disorders. The virtual model can perform many studies and create different body types to see all types of results. The group has begun to conduct virtual studies in the fields of pain research and Type 2 diabetes as well.