Raveendran R. A prototype software to sensitize medical undergraduate students to animal research methodology. AATEX 2008;14(Special Issue):235-237


In India medical undergraduate students(UGs) are encouraged to do short term research projects. Since the UGs are exposed to research for the very first time, they need to be sensitized, especially when they take up research involving animals. With this in mind, a prototype software has been developed to introduce the UGs to research involving animals and ethics of animal experimentation. Using the software, the UGs can conduct a simulated experiment with a hypothetical new drug to find out its effects on the rabbit eye. They will follow the steps of research such as pilot study, sample size calculation, randomization, blinding, control and filling up forms for necessary permissions. They will collect data by doing the experiment on the screen, tabulate and analyse the data statistically and draw conclusions. Further the software includes information about 3R principles, ethical requirements and the governmental guidelines on animal experiments for self-learning. Using live animals for the sole purpose of teaching research methodology to UGs is not ethically sound, but the software can be used as an alternative. Sensitizing the UGs to research methodology and the ethical principles of animal experimentation will go a long way in refining the methods and reducing the number of animals when they conduct live animals experiments.

Author's contacts: ravee@jipmer.edu

Author's keywords: 3Rs, research methodology, rabbit eye, undergraduate students, software

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Link to journal: AATEX - Alternatives to Animal Testing and Experimentation