...about Human-Based Methods

The Three R's:

-Replace the use of animals with alternative techniques

-Reduce the number of animals used

-Refine experiments to make sure animals suffer as little as possible


Why toxicity testing on animals does not work:

1. "Human exposures to environmental chemicals typically occur at low concentrations. However, if testing strategies were based on these low concentrations, many more animals, time, and money would be needed to detect adverse health effects in humans. Therefore, in order to maximize the detection of toxicities, animals are treated with very high doses of chemicals."

2. "Inbred strains of animals are routinely used for testing chemicals... However, humans are not inbred—we are quite heterogeneous genetically and thus potentially exhibit considerable variability in susceptibility to adverse effects from a chemical."

3. "The results are obtained primarily from rats and mice, and though rats and mice exhibit many of the same responses to chemicals as humans, there are also many differences...But since the differences among species are not all known, an uncertainty factor must be applied even to the animal data that are used"


Alternative methods:

-"The new approach would involve measuring changes in the molecules of the cell in response to a chemical. With low concentrations of chemicals, these changes might be reversible and the cells might recover through adaptive responses"

-"Creating a strategy for collecting data from human populations that have been exposed to chemicals already found in the environment. Population-based studies can provide information on toxicity pathways and health risks not revealed by traditional toxicity testing"

-"Developing a suite of representative human cell lines that can be used for assessing toxicity"

-Joanne Zurlo, senior scientist in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences and director of science strategy for the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health 


More Reliable Methods:

New cosmetic test uses protozoa instead of rabbits:  Liverpool researchers say no animal cruelty in 'cheap, reliable' test using single-celled organisms: "A new test using protozoa — single-celled organisms — has been developed by U.K. researchers, who say it has "great potential" for reducing the use of animals to determine the safety of cosmetics." (Jan. 14, 2014)


Animal testing could be reduced with new research: "The team, led by chemistry, biomedical science and electrical engineering professor James Hickman, has developed a neuromuscular junction mimic. This allows researchers to monitor muscular function and its response to different treatments without using human or animal subjects." (Sept. 25, 2013)


Genomic assay as an alternative to animal testing: "The method developed by the group in Lund is based on human cells grown in a laboratory. The cells are exposed to a chemical and then parts of their genetic content are filtered out and transferred to a microchip." (June 14, 2013)


Scientific breakthrough?  Jamaican doctor says research findings eliminate need for testing drugs on animals: "Dr Lawrence Williams says he has made a breakthrough which eliminates the need for laboratory testing of animals in the development of anti-inflammatory drugs... We are 100 per cent sure this assay can detect anti-inflammatory illnesses." (April 14, 2013)


Local scientists developing tests for vaccines against bioterror threats: "Scientists are creating test-tube versions of the human immune system to determine how effective various vaccines are in preventing diseases such as influenza, yellow fever and tuberculosis." (April 8, 2013)


Artificial human livers engineered for drug testing and discovery: "This research advance is the firstdrug testing model available that can sensitively predict long-term drug responses in the liver...The ability to determine drug toxicity at an early stage would lead to significant cost savings for the pharmaceutical companies and consumers." (March 15, 2013)


Skin & Eye Testing:

P&G develops first approved non-animal alternative for skin allergy testing: "Procter & Gamble scientists announce a milestone having developed the first non-animal alternative method for skin allergy testing approved by European authority." (Jan. 17, 2014)


Greiner Bio-One launches artificial skin to replace animal testing: "Greiner Bio-One has announced the launch of ThinCert cell culture inserts." (July 15, 2013)


Animal testing ban sparks rise in new alternatives for skin allergy: "The BUAV has today welcomed the rise in the development of alternatives to testing on animals for cosmetics and other products." (June 14, 2013)


New test for skin sensitization without using animals: "The scientists describe development of a cell-based alternative test that enlists genes and signaling pathways in mouse skin cells growing in the laboratory." (March 27, 2013)


Replacement of animal testing: EURL ECVAM releases its strategy for skin sensitisation hazard identification and classification: "The European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM) has just released its strategy on how to achieve an animal-free solution for assessing chemicals for skin sensitisation." (March 04, 2013)


New Chemical Testing Method to Reduce Reliance on Animal Eye Testing: "The National Toxicology Program (NTP) has announced a new classification criterion that it says should require between 50% and 83% fewer animals to be used during testing to determine whether a chemical is hazardous to the eye." (Oct. 10, 2012)


3D Models:

3D-Printed Human Cells Will Replace Animal Testing in Five Years, Says Bioengineer Expert: "3D-printed human cells could eliminate the need to test new drugs on animals as soon as 2018." (Nov. 11, 2013)


Ceetox Validation Trials, Funded By PETA U.K., Show Method May Soon Replace Animals In Chemical Testing: "SenCeeTox®, can correctly identify chemicals that cause allergic responses in humans. This non-animal method uses a 3-dimensional, human-derived skin model that accurately replicates many of the key traits of normal human skin." (Aug. 6, 2013)


Cancer research implies future for personalized medicine, reduction in animal testing: The University Hospital of Würzburg scientists behind the experiment have created a new version of the testing structures known as biological vascularized scaffolds (BioVaSc). (Aug. 6, 2013)


Closer-to-Real 3D Cell Culture Advances:  New in vitro technologies have a real chance of replacing animal models for drug testing, yet some challenges remain: "The accumulation of research showing that conventional cell culture models involving growth of cells on two-dimensional (2D) substrates don’t provide an accurate in vitro picture of the real 3D world." (July 15, 2013)


Model lung could avoid need for animal research"A 3D laboratory model of a human lung could one day replace the use of animal models for the research of pulmonary diseases." (Feb. 13, 2013)


Scientists Use 3-D Printer to Speed Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research: "A team of scientists is reporting a breakthrough in 3-D printing using human embryonic stem cells that could purportedly lead to life-like bioengineered tissue and, eventually, artificial organs tailor-made for specific patients." (Feb. 4, 2013)


Professorial chair to lead search for animal testing alternatives: "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... special areas of focus would include 3D cell culture, 3D modelling and bioinformatics and regenerative medicine, with particular emphasis on diseases of the skin and the digestive tract." (Jan. 16, 2013)


Prostate Model for Cancer Research: "To better study the causes and development of this disease, Dr. Friederike J. Gruhl, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), is developing a three-dimensional model of the prostate." (Nov. 23, 2012)



Harvard, AstraZeneca partner to replace animal testing with 'organs-on-chips': (Oct. 21, 2013)


Chipping away at animal testing:  Harvard, Sony team up for bio-research: "Harvard University researchers are tapping into Sony’s manufacturing expertise with the goal of mass-producing matchbox-sized “organs-on-chips” that could make it possible for scientists to test new drugs easily without animal trials." (March 25, 2013)


Research collaboration to develop organs-on-chips: "The Organs-on-Chips have the potential to revolutionize testing of drugs, chemicals, toxins and cosmetics." (March 18, 2013)


Organs-on-Chips May Replace Animal Testing: "Researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard Univ. have mimicked pulmonary edema in a microchip lined by living human cells." (Sept. 11, 2012)


Chris Austin explains how robots could soon replace animals in toxicology testing: "In the future, robots might replace animal testing in screening for environmental toxins." (July 23, 2008)



BASF Receives 2013 Animal Protection Research Prize: "BASF research scientists have developed completely animal testing-free methods and strategies that examine substances for skin sensitization, eye irritation and skin irritation. The predictive accuracies are at least as good as those provided by animal studies." (Dec. 2, 2013)


Industry Test Leader Wins PETA Award for Rabbitless Research: "The chemical engineering professors from MIT who founded the company discovered that by creating in vitro (test tube) test methods using skin constructs made from human-derived cells." (April 2, 2013)


3D Biomatrix Technology Recognized by NC3Rs 3Rs Prize: "The Perfecta3D Hanging Drop Plates allow for easy production of spheroids, which are micro-scale 3D tissues that mimic avascular tissues, tumors, and embryoid bodies." (March 26, 2013)


Boost for infrastructure in animal use reduction: "UK animal research laboratories will get £1 million to develop networks of shared resources to reduce and refine their animal use." (Feb. 26, 2013)


York Mathematicians to reduce animal testing: "The National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) to joint fund an almost £750k grant into finding innovative ways to increase the efficiency of the protocols... A York-based, interdisciplinary team, lead by mathematician Dr Jon Pitchford, was one of only four research projects to be awarded a portion of this grant to investigate how mathematical techniques might be used to streamline the testing practices. Together with Dr James Cussens in Computer Science, Jon and his team plan to use a mathematical technique known as Bayesian Networks to exploit existing data." (Jan. 22, 2013)


Evocutis boosted by interest in animal replacement technology: "Evocutis has secured ten new contracts totalling £280,000 (€337,000) for its alternative method." (Jan. 22, 2013)


LUSH Cosmetics Awards $400,000 to Innovators in Cruelty-Free Research"LUSH Cosmeticsannounced the recipients of the first-ever LUSH Prize to eliminate animal testing. Created by the handmade-cosmetics firm, in conjunction with the not-for-profit Ethical Consumer group, the annual £250,000 ($400,000) prize is the largest monetary award in the alternative-testing sector to date." (March 12, 2012)


Federal agencies collaborate in Tox21 to reduce animal testing"Testing the safety of chemicals is becoming more efficient and less reliant on animals thanks to a federal collaboration known as Tox 21." (2010)

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