Humane Research Australia has published an overview of methods and technologies that can replace animals in biomedical research and testing. Animal experiments are both cruel and unreliable.
Animals are NOT predictive of human outcomes and so should not be used to study human diseases. But researchers often argue that we simply cannot progress from a test tube to a human. Of course they are correct. Drugs and treatments need to first be tested in a way that can tell us whether they are safe and effective in humans. Using another species, however, is problematic due to inherent interspecies differences in important genetic and biochemical systems. Too often, this makes animal experiments dangerously misleading.
So if we don’t use animals what do we use?
Authored by Dr Monika Merkes, HRA has published Better ways to do research – an overview of methods and technologies that can replace animals. It can be accessed here or a printed copy is available by contacting HRA.
The publication showcases the vast array of research methods that we now have available – clearly a far cry from simple “test tubes”. The overview also includes examples of how these methods have been applied and been of benefit to humans.
Author Dr Monika Merkes: “We hope that the overview will assist researchers adhere to the 3R’s requirement to REPLACE animals with more humane and scientifically valid methods of research, as well as showing the community that there ARE better options to using animals in medical research – options that negate the risk of error through species differences and hence result in data that is more likely to result in genuine cures for humans.”