One can only hope so! Many studies have shown that animal testing has only marginal effectiveness, and is not a reliable indicator of the behavior or effects of a drug or treatment when applied to humans. Articles posted in journals like Nature and in circulations like Scientific American have lent credibility to the notion that there may be a day when computer models will be far more accurate than animal testing, and can do more varied studies, simulations, and run multiple tests using hardware that can be purchased for a fraction of the cost of breeding, maintaining, and experimenting on animals, using significantly less space, and return better results that can lead to more aggressive and faster breakthroughs in areas like cancer research, vaccine research, immune studies, and new treatments and drugs for all of those conditions, other debilitating diseases, and more.
But before we say goodbye to our faithful lab rats that have given so many lives in the study of how to save human ones, computing technology has a ways to go before it can be proven to be both more cost effective and resource effective than animal study, and additionally, scientists will have to be retrained from the classical mentality of studying animal behavior and then dissecting them and retrained in essentially computer science. Between advances in computer modeling and tissue culturing however, we could very well soon see the end of scientific testing as we know it, speed up the saving of millions of human lives while saving millions of animal lives, and further press the progress of technology and technology in scientific research. The idea has wide support among the scientific community, but it has a ways to go. Today’s New Scientist has the scoop. No link to the full article without paying, but you get the idea from the abstract.