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Fundamental Research

In Fundamental or basic research, as in applied research, the goal is always to benefit health. Basic research explores unknown territories of biology, which allows applied research to progress.

Fundamental research often applied the following procedure: animal and in vitro studies set a hypothesis. Further tests are then carried out in vitro, in animals and sometimes on humans to add to our knowledge.  These steps were and still are applied to the discovery of the nervous, cardiovascular, immune, digestive and reproductive systems.

The Nobel Prizes rewarding the discoveries that have most benefitted medicine show the importance of animal research in fundamental research.

Basic research led, for example in flies, to the discovery of the role of chromosomes in heredity (1933) and the genetic control for development.

In chicken, we discovered vitamin K (1943) and the way neurons (1963) work in squid. The mechanism of the inner ear was studied in guinea pigs and frogs (1961), work done on cats and primates led to the exploration of the way visual information is processed by the brain (1981) and innate immunity (1960), monoclonal antibodies (1984) and immune tolerance (1960) were all discovered in mice.

Without these fundamental discoveries with often unusual names, and many others, human and animal medicine would simply not have progressed.

We offer you some infographics illustrating the Nobel Prizes.