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Design of Animal Experiments

Reducing the Use of Animals in Research through Better Experimental Design Laboratory Animal Handbooks Series, 14

Michael F W Festing
MRC Toxicology Unit, University of Leicester, UK
Philip Overend
GlaxoSmithKline plc, UK
Rose Gaines Das
Mario Cortina Borja
Department of Statistics, University of Oxford, UK
Manuel Berdoy
Oxford University Veterinary Services, UK

January 2002




ISBN 978-1-85315-513-0

Design of Animal Experiments

Where there is no alternative to the use of experimental animals in biomedical research, it is important that experiments are well designed and correctly analysed in order to maximize the chance of getting scientifically valid results. Experiments that use too few animals may fail to pick up biologically important effects, while those that use too many or use them incorrectly may be subjecting them to unnecessary pain, distress or lasting harm.

This book is aimed at all research scientists who use laboratory animals, with the aim of helping them to design their own experiments more effectively and/or to improve their ability to communicate with professional statisticians when designing more complex experiments. It covers many aspects of experimental design, such as choice of experimental animal, which are not considered by most statistics textbooks. Conversely, it does not cover the more advanced designs or statistical methods, so it should, ideally, be used in conjunction with more conventional statistics textbooks.


Acknowledgements; Preface; Basic Principles of the Design of Animal Experiments; Choice of Animals; Understanding and Controlling Variation; The Design of Experiments; The Determination of Sample Size; Presenting and Interpreting the Results and Making Decisions; Concluding Remarks: Putting the Project Together; Appendix 1: Brief Notes on Statistical Packages; Appendix 2: Further Reading; References.

Veterinary Science

Michael F W Festing/Philip Overend/Mario Cortina Borja/Manuel Berdoy