Research in the life sciences often requires the use of model organisms to tackle difficult questions. Model organisms are species of animals, plants, and microbes that are used extensively in biological studies. The choice of species depends on the biological questions that are explored and how easy it is to maintain the organisms in laboratory conditions. Model organisms have been – and continue to be – crucial in advancing both the fundamental and applied knowledge within the life sciences. The insights they provide into a variety of biological phenomena is often the first step towards refining this knowledge up to the point where it can be applied in, for example, disease treatment, crop improvement, and industrial processes.
VIB follows strict guidelines to ensure the ethical treatment of the model organisms used in the research performed by the scientist.