‘Animal testing alternative hunt gets £1m boost’

Posted on January 16, 2013


Today (16th January), an item was posted on the Sky news web-site titled ‘Animal testing alternative hunt gets £1m boost’.

‘… Scientists, who had few effective alternatives in the past, now have the ability to grow human cells and tissue in laboratories –

British researchers are aiming to find an effective alternative to animal testing.

In a world first, the research charity Dr Hadwen Trust has announced it will fund a professorial chair in animal replacement science thanks to a £1m donation from lifelong supporter Alan Stross.

Kailah Eglington, the trust’s chief executive, said the role, created in collaboration with the Queen Mary University of London, is a major stepping stone in finding alternatives to animal use in medical research.

“From a scientific perspective having a professorial chair will help create cohesion among the global community of scientists and help make the information about alternatives to animal testing available to everyone.

“In terms of the country it ensures that we maintain the lead in innovation and pioneering and to show that we are the best at what we do and will continue to be the best.

“In terms of the public at large it will mean we’ll find better medicines and better ways of doing things.

“This branch of science is becoming increasingly accepted among the scientific community and it is vital that new and existing scientists and researchers are aware that successful alternatives to animal testing are available today and that more are needed.”

Scientists, who have had few effective testing options in the past, now have the ability to grow human cells and tissue in laboratories and use these to create three-dimensional models for use in skin and cancer research.

This is a speciality of Queen Mary’s Blizard Institute, where the animal replacement project’s professorial chair will be based.

The project is particularly timely as a new UK law requiring the use of alternative, non-animal research techniques if available came into effect this month.

And with recent results from a Radio 5 Live survey indicating that one in three adults would like to see a governmental ban on all animal testing in medical research, the project is likely to be welcomed by the general public.

There were 3.7 million scientific procedures using animals in 2010, although the number of animals used was slightly less because some are used more than once, according to Understanding Animal Research.

Chief executive Wendy Jarrett said: “Almost every medicine that we have available today is here because it involved animal research at some point during its development …” …’

Read the item in full, view video and add your comment online at http://news.sky.com/story/1038629/animal-testing-alternative-hunt-gets-1m-boost


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