Biology Animal Models Essay

Animal Models Essay

A common theme throughout the unit has been the use animal and cell biology models to aid in the understanding of human reproductive issues. Using material from lectures, laboratories, journal club and other sources (published work) explain the use of experimental models and how they have contributed to the scientific understanding of TWO of the following areas of the human reproduction:

Preterm birth

Developmental programming of metabolic disease


Pregnancy adaptation/maladaptation

Other disorders during pregnancy

Fertility and infertility

In your essay:

Describe the nature of the human problem (disease/event) being addressed by the animal or cell biology model.

Using specific examples (publications) explain how the model/s chosen helped tackle the problem. Outline the information gained through the use of the model and explain why this knowledge could not readily be generated through studies on “whole” humans. A good essay will define and integrate the two problems.

Discuss the limitations to the use of the model for understanding the problem. Limitations should be more than “a mouse is not human” – they should be limitations specific to that model.


Note. The essay is about experimental models (e.g models of preeclampsia or fetal growth) not model of organisms (e.g mouse, rat or sheep). The model organism is part of the experimental model, but acts as a tool to enable the disease to be approximated in living tissue. The focus be on the disease being modelled, not the actual organism.