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60th International Laboratory Animal Day

What role do animal experiments still play in biomedical research?
Filming with the Norddeutscher Rundfunk in the Auditory Neuroscience and Optogenetics Laboratory. Photo: Susanne Diederich

The International Day of the Laboratory Animal on 24 April commemorates the animals that have been used in experiments for research purposes or in the development of medicines. In the meantime, many animal experiments can be avoided by alternative or complementary methods, but there are important medical questions for which experiments on animals are still indispensable.

At the DPZ, too, a small proportion of non-human primates are used for studies in which, for example, therapies are developed to treat serious diseases for which there are currently no thorough therapeutic options. For example, researchers have developed a novel opto-genetic cochlear implant that may offer a new quality of life for patients with severe hearing loss. The team led by Tobias Moser from the Institute of Auditory Neuroscience and the Inner Ear Laboratory at the University Medical Center Göttingen and the Auditory Neuroscience and Optogenetics Laboratory at the DPZ relies on common marmosets for their research. The scientists took the Day of the Laboratory Animal as an opportunity to explain their research in a comprehensible way in a broadcast by the NDR (in German).