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Safety is imperative before new medicines are given to patients – which is why drugs are tested on millions of animals worldwide each year to detect possible risks and side effects. But research shows computer simulations of the heart have the potential to improve drug development for patients and reduce the need for animal testing.

Animal testing has, to date, been the most accurate and reliable strategy for checking new drugs, but it is expensive, time consuming and – for some – highly controversial.

There is also the potential for some side effects to be missed due to the differences between animals and humans. Drug trials are particularly problematic for this reason and it’s clear that new testing methods are needed to enable the development of better and safer medicines.

Read the full article on The Conversation website, written by Elisa Passini, Blanca Rodriguez, and Patricia Benito, Oxford Department of Computer Science. 

Oxford is a subscribing member of The ConversationFind out how you can write for The Conversation.

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