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Animal Insights

It is extraordinarily confronting to realise, after devoting much of your career to a worthy endeavour, that the primary system for achieving your goals is flawed.

From fresh analyses and thinking on animal models in fundamental biomedical research, a bracing and uncomfortable message has emerged for scientists.

This current trepidation on animal models is not a fad or fringe discussion, but has found forums in well established and highly regarded scientific and medical journals, for example, Science and The BMJ, as well as recently in mainstream media.

Discussion, controversy and debate on the experimental use of animals can be traced to the beginning of the scientific revolution. Over the course of the 19th century, with the increasing modernisation of scientific inquiry and its links to informing medical knowledge, tensions arose that we still recognise today, in terms of human health advancement via animal experiments versus unjustified animal cruelty.

The wider public had a role, with British physiologists of the 19th century, for example, sensitive to public concerns about animal cruelty during experimental procedures, informed by reaction to gruesome experiments conducted by some European physiologists of the time.

From this tradition we gained the “3Rs” — replacement, reduction, refinement —to promote and guide humane experimentation, while ultimately aspiring to absolute animal replacement.

The 3Rs are central tenets of the Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes, providing practical guidelines on best humane practices for using animals experimentally. They are clearly a significant advance to satisfy both the conventional wisdom that animal experimentation is essential for health progress, as well as the animal welfare obligations broader society demands.

What is different now is that the science itself is under fire, stemming from the re-evaluation of evidence from the burgeoning biomedical literature, the growing concerns about the “valley of death” when developing fundamental discoveries towards health interventions, the costs of research and so on. There is often mention of a “90% failure rate” for animal to human translation.

Full Article at MJA InSight

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MeetingS

 
FRAME Training School in Experimental Design and Statistical Analysis
May 31-June 2, 2017
Saskatoon, Canada

Advances in Cell and Tissue Culture 2017
May 22-24, 2017
Manchester, UK

CAAT Academy
In Vitro Skin and Eye Models Hands-on Training
June 1-2 2017
Brussels, Belgium

CAAT Academy
Tools for Read-Across
June 15-16, 2017
Helsinki, Finland

ecopa SSCT Workshop 2017
June 14-16, 2017
Helsinki, Finland
Thomas Hartung will deliver a keynote address

CAAT Academy
Updates on Hepatotoxicity AOP Landscape and on the ADME Field - Season 2
June 22-23, 2017
Rennes, France

9th Euro-Global Summit on Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology
June 22-24, 2017
Paris, France
Email for Details

6th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology (ASCCT)
September 21-22
College Park, MD

SAVE THE DATE:
10th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences
August 20-24, 2017
Seattle, Washington

CAAT Academy
Hands-on Training in Quantitative Human Cell and Effect-based In Vitro Bioanalysis for Assessing Endocrine-disrupting Compounds (EDCs)
September 7-8. 2017
Amsterdam
 

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