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Animal testing: Could it ever be banned completely?

 Animals will continue to be used for testing medical products until there is a viable replacement. (Getty Images: Rklfoto)

Animals will continue to be used for testing medical products until there is a viable replacement.
Photo Credit (Getty Images: Rklfoto)

By Bianca Nogrady

There’s an uncomfortable truth to modern medicine.That drug you take for your high blood pressure, the vaccine to prevent infectious disease,

the pill to avoid pregnancy, the medical ointment for your skin condition, or even the pacemaker keeping your arrhythmia in check — all of those and more have, at one time, been tested on a live animal.

Between the testing of a new chemical compound on cell cultures in a laboratory and the first time that compound is given to a live human, it will almost certainly be administered to mice, rats, rabbits and perhaps even a non-human primate. Read More

Published by abc.net August 19, 2016

A New Culture of Openness in Animal Research

Photo credit Speaking of Research

By Sarah Elkin

Animal research has been credited with improving human health and leading to many medical breakthroughs. However, animal research still remains a controversial topic, with many animal rights groups believing that animal research is wasteful and pointless. One way to improve the public opinion of animal research is through education and openness. Openness can be achieved by showing the public what an animal research facility looks like and what research takes place there, in addition to discussing how that research affects human health.

In order to address the goal of transparency and openness in animal research, 72 organizations involved with bioscience in the United Kingdom (UK) launched the Concordat on Openness in Animal Research. Currently, over 100 UK organizations have signed the Concordat and pledged to “be clear about when, how and why [they] use animals in research”, “enhance [their] communications with the media and the public about [their] research using animals”, “be proactive in providing opportunities for the public to find out about research using animals”, and “report on progress annually and share [their] experiences”. The Concordat, and the new environment of openness it seeks to encourage, has led many institutions to become more open to the media. Read More.

Published by Speaking of Research August 16, 2016

Monkey study shows Zika infection prolonged in pregnancy

A vacuum tube holds a blood-fed strain of Aedes aegypti mosquito in place under a microscope in a research lab insectary in the Hanson Biomedical Sciences Building at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on May 17, 2016. Matthew Aliota, assistant scientist in the Department of Pathobiological Sciences in the School of Veterinary Medicine, is studying the insect as part of his research about mosquito-borne pathogens such as the Zika virus, dengue fever and yellow fever infections. (Photo by Jeff Miller/UW-Madison)

Photo Credit by Jeff Miller/UW-Madison

University of Wisconsin–Madison researchers studying monkeys have shown that one infection with Zika virus protects against future infection, though pregnancy may drastically prolong the time the virus stays in the body.

The researchers, led by UW–Madison pathology Professor David O’Connor, published a study today (June 28, 2016) in the journal Nature Communications describing their work establishing rhesus macaque monkeys at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center as a model for studying the way Zika virus infections may progress in people. Read More 

Published by University of Wisconsin – Madison June 28, 2016

HIV Vaccine Developed Through Primate Centers Collaboration

HIV-1Moving towards human clinical trials

Over the past 6 years, Drs. Peter Barry and Alice Tarantal, California National Primate Research Center (CNPRC) at UC Davis, have been collaborating with Dr. Louis Picker at Oregon Health Science University (OHSU)–Oregon NPRC to develop and test a vaccine and potential cure for HIV. OHSU is now recruiting volunteers to be part of the first human trials for this exciting new development in the prevention and treatment of HIV. Read More.

Published by California National Primate Research Center – UC Davis June 10, 2016

We mightn’t like it, but there are ethical reasons to use animals in medical research

10764885 - white laboratory mice tries to escape from a holding deviceThe media regularly report impressive medical advances. However, in most cases, there is a reluctance by scientists, the universities, or research institutions they work for, and the media to mention animals used in that research, let alone non-human primates. Such omission misleads the public and works against long-term sustainability of a very important means of advancing knowledge about health and disease.

Consider the recent report by Ali Rezai and colleagues, in the journal Nature, of a patient with quadriplegia who was able to use his hands by just thinking about the action. The signals in the brain recorded by implanted electrodes were analysed and fed into the muscles of the arm to activate the hand directly. Read More.

Published on May 25, 2016 by The Conversation