New simulation program “Virtual Pathophysiology”
The rat sits apathetically in front of the empty food bowl. Her fur is ruffled, she no longer responds to acoustic stimuli. For 7 days, she hasn’t been given any food. She lost half of her weight. Then, the animal is decapitated to weigh its internal organs. Fortunately, the rat is not real. Her suffering is shown as an animation in the new simulation program Virtual Pathophysiology.
With the new software and a textbook on pathophysiology, the study of the disorder of the normal body functions during disease or injury, we add another important brick to our successful Eastern Europe project and thus prevent particularly cruel animal experiments in the countries of the former Soviet Union.
"Virtual Pathophysiology" consists of 15 interactive Flash animations and a companion book with explanations and test exercises in Russian. In cooperation with InterNICHE, a team of Ukrainian and Belarussian pathophysiologists, designers and programmers as well as our Ukrainian project partner Dimitrij Leporskij, spent two years working on the project, developing an interactive program specifically tailored to the usual animal experiments in ex-Soviet countries. The software is deliberately produced without copyright, so it can be distributed free of charge as widely as possible.
Software and accompanying book are distributed free of charge to 300 universities in Ukraine and Russia.
When replacing animal experiments it is important that the teachers are satisfied with the non-animal teaching tools we provide them with. To increase acceptance, we have dubbed several German and English language educational films in Russian and funded the production of a Russian-language educational film with an accompanying textbook on the physiology of the gastrointestinal tract.
While there is an enormous variety of computer programs and films for the subjects of physiology, anatomy and zoology, and the replacement here is easy, in the field of pathophysiology there are no animal-free teaching aids available, apart from some old Soviet-era films. This is mainly because most computer programs and films are created in the Anglo-American part of the world, and here pathophysiology experiments on animals are not common. In the ex-Soviet countries, however, these extremely cruel courses are still common. Hunger, anemia, hypoxia, allergic shock, inflammation, fever, barotrauma (pressure injury during diving) and other atrocities are inflicted on animals for the mere purpose of demonstration.
The project including simulation, textbook and shipping to 50 departments in Ukraine and 200 in Russia was funded by us with 8,000 Euro. This project will help to save thousands of animals from an extremely painful death.
Overview of the whole project (in German) >>