aylissewonder
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Does anyone currently studying (or used to study) undergraduate biomedical science at Sheffield University know how much animal testing is on the course? (Eg is it only for a few lab sessions a year or every week for a whole semester?)

Any information would be really useful, especially on the core modules, as I can choose optional modules that avoid it.

I tried emailing the admissions tutor but they didn't give me enough information.

Thank you so much!
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Aardvark
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I don't attend Sheffield and admittedly do biosciences not biomed but I can tell you that you definitely won't be doing animal testing as an undergraduate. There are really strict guidelines that apply to all universities and research facilities regarding animal testing. Permission to experiment on animals is only granted if it it's essential to the research. Inspectors can come at any time without warning and indeed do so.

The closest you'll get to animals is if you look at chicken embryos, daphnia, fruit flies etc. Maybe you might look at fertilisation using marine worms or zebra fish. You might also do dissections. Hearts/lungs etc will be meat grade. ie. will come from the same place as the meat in supermarkets. Rats will be humanely killed after use in experiments before being given to you.

If you feel strongly about not participating in some experiments you'll most likely be given the option of not doing them. You may need (and I'd recommend you do) to observe so you understand the concepts being taught though.

Labs using animals won't be every week as this would be too expensive and also unecessary.

If you can't find out exactly what the experiments will be, think what the module is teaching you and it could give a rough idea.
Eg. Developmental biology (which I see is a core first year module) will probably cover embryo development. When doing developmental biology labs I have looked at live chicken and zebra fish embryos. I'd be lying if I said these embryos made it to adulthood. We didn't perform torturous experiments on them though.
However when I've done cell biology practicals, I've mostly used bacteria but also tissue cells cultured from a chicken. We have applied drugs to them but these were only tissue cells, not the actual animal so no animal suffering.

Although I haven't been able to give precise details I hope this has been some help.
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aylissewonder
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(Original post by Aardvark)
I don't attend Sheffield and admittedly do biosciences not biomed but I can tell you that you definitely won't be doing animal testing as an undergraduate. There are really strict guidelines that apply to all universities and research facilities regarding animal testing. Permission to experiment on animals is only granted if it it's essential to the research. Inspectors can come at any time without warning and indeed do so.

The closest you'll get to animals is if you look at chicken embryos, daphnia, fruit flies etc. Maybe you might look at fertilisation using marine worms or zebra fish. You might also do dissections. Hearts/lungs etc will be meat grade. ie. will come from the same place as the meat in supermarkets. Rats will be humanely killed after use in experiments before being given to you.

If you feel strongly about not participating in some experiments you'll most likely be given the option of not doing them. You may need (and I'd recommend you do) to observe so you understand the concepts being taught though.

Labs using animals won't be every week as this would be too expensive and also unecessary.

If you can't find out exactly what the experiments will be, think what the module is teaching you and it could give a rough idea.
Eg. Developmental biology (which I see is a core first year module) will probably cover embryo development. When doing developmental biology labs I have looked at live chicken and zebra fish embryos. I'd be lying if I said these embryos made it to adulthood. We didn't perform torturous experiments on them though.
However when I've done cell biology practicals, I've mostly used bacteria but also tissue cells cultured from a chicken. We have applied drugs to them but these were only tissue cells, not the actual animal so no animal suffering.

Although I haven't been able to give precise details I hope this has been some help.
Thank you so much for your help! I hope that I will be able to opt out but observe although I won't want to use chicken embryos/zebra fish etc, it's encouraging to know that most of the time you used tissue cultures. Your help has been so useful, thank you so much
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Aardvark
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(Original post by aylissewonder)
Thank you so much for your help! I hope that I will be able to opt out but observe although I won't want to use chicken embryos/zebra fish etc, it's encouraging to know that most of the time you used tissue cultures. Your help has been so useful, thank you so much
No problem! Glad to be of some help.

I think the trouble is the media are rather sensationalist, and especially in the last year or so have painted a picture of universities torturing animals, which gives an unrealistic and bad representation of what students and scientists actually do. It'd be a shame if that were to put potential students off studying certain subjects.
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