MUNCY - Muncy High School eighth-grader Nicole Scott was the first-place winner in the Pennsylvania Society for Biomedical Research annual essay contest.
The contest recognizes students who demonstrate a superior understanding of bioscience research and the appropriate use of animals in biomedical research, and who can artfully communicate that understanding in writing. All seventh- through 12th-grade students in Pennsylvania and Delaware are eligible for this contest, which combines research and writing skills along with an ability to convey their idea in a thought-provoking manner.
Scott is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Scott, of Pennsdale. She wrote the essay as part of her General Science class at Muncy High School. The project was offered as out-of-class work.
Nicole Scott is shown with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Scott.
She worked on multiple drafts during her free time to reach the first-place position, which earned her $300, a plaque, recognition at the Pennsylvania Society of Biomedical Researchers annual luncheon and placement of her essay on the organization's website.
The winning essay
By NIKKI SCOTT
Special to the Sun-Gazette
Bioscience research is a big deal to me. I think it is a very positive thing and we should keep doing it. I know people that had their lives saved and both they and I are very glad for Bioscience Research. I also know people that the results of bioscience research simply helped them feel better. Why wouldn't we want bioscience research?
Most animal research (90 percent) uses mice/rats. These are bred especially for research and most are not sacrificed. Mice and rats were important contributors in advances in typhus, Poliovirus research, Penicillin function, Yellow fever vaccine, how tumor viruses work, and the discovery of HIV. And they even help childless couples become parents since they helped in virus research.
Some vaccine developments for animals are, Anthrax, Equine Influenza, and Potomac Horse Fever. Some diseases that are still being researched in animals are, Allergies, Embryo Transfer Techniques, and Pet Food Nutrition. Also, vaccines for animals are, Antibiotics, Glaucoma, and Parasites.
Other animals that are used help those animals themselves are, pigs, cattle, and sheep. Bioscience research is the reason for vaccine developments for humans are Diphtheria, Measles, Tetanus, and whooping cough. Some diseases that are still being researched are, AIDS, Cancer, Heart Disease, and Tooth and Gum Disease. Also, vaccines for humans are, Allergies, Birth Defects, Kidney Disease, and Organ Transplants.
Some people ask if these animals can be replaced. Many have been over the year. Some alternatives to animal testing are providing faster results at lower costs. These include bacteria and cell cultures, chemical tests, computer models, and advanced statistical methods. Researchers stay away from the use of animals when they can and they continue to search for alternative methods. New drugs, vaccines, and surgical procedures will still be evaluated in animals before they can be used on humans.
When people ask about benefits from animal research, they need to think about things. For the most part every major medical advance in the past century has depended on studies involving lab animals. In addition to these already mentioned, I could add prevention and treatment of cancer. Increased success for organ transplants; medications for high blood pressure, allergy medications, diabetes treatment, stroke recovery and the list could go on and on.
These are some reasons and facts concerning bioscience research that make it so important to me, as it should be to everyone around the world.