Non-Animal Methods to Advance Medical Research

Amazing Non-Animal Methods To Advance Medical Research

I’m wowed at the new technology that’s now available to study human disease and cures. I learn something new every week by receiving email messages from Citizens for Alternatives to Animal Research and Experimentation (CAARE), available free at http:/www.caareusa.org and started in March, 2015 by Barbara Stagno of NYS. Here’s some of the information from CAARE: 

Every day scientists and doctors are dramatically expanding methods that enhance medicine and science without the use of animals. Many also acknowledge that non-animal methods are superior to deriving results from animals!

For example, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) invested $17 million in 2014 to advance the production of Bio-chips – miniaturized systems made up of living cells embedded in microchips. The NIH Tissue Chip program, started in 2012, has dedicated nearly $76 million for chip technology to improve drug testing and development. 

Today, biochips can mimic the functions of the kidneys, heart, liver, and nervous system, and generate results that are more accurate than animal tests.

Modern scientific methods using human cells, artificial tissue and computer models allow testing of products that is more efficient and cheaper than using animals.

The former head of the National Institute of Health, Dr. Elias Zerhouni, said in a 2013 address to scientists that over- reliance on using mice as models for human disease hasn’t worked. He said “We need to refocus and adapt new methodologies for use in humans to understand disease biology in humans.”

Yet many mice and other animals continue to suffer and die in labs in the U.S. Is it inertia? Is it that researchers who are trained in the use of animal models aren’t sure how to use the new methodologies? With continued pressure from animal rights activists and with researchers who have experience in new methodologies, we can continue to move away from these cruel and inferior types of research. 

Linda is President of  People for Animal Rights, an all-volunteer, grassroots organization.  Contact her at P.O. Box 15358, Syracuse 13215-0358 or LDESTEFANO3@twcny.rr.com or (315)488-PURR (7877) between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m.  See peopleforanimalrightsofcny.org.

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