Toxicology professionals agree that animal testing alternatives are worth consideration in the current scientific climate. While this standard method of testing chemicals is proven effective, other methods can align well with some companies’ core values. Whether a company adheres to traditional laboratory testing or burgeoning alternatives like the read-across method, it is important that researchers continue to find potential improvements to their processes. Below are three alternatives to animal testing every researcher should analyze.
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3 Animal Testing Alternatives To Analyze
Replacement alternatives to animal testing refer to methods that avoid the use of animals in a laboratory. This approach includes both absolute replacements and relative replacements (i.e. using less sentient animals with less pain perception in place of their opposite). Read-across is one of the most prominent absolute replacements used in toxicology research today. It applies predominantly in vivo test data, where it has gained significant momentum. Though an alternative to direct testing, it is a viable solution for filling data gaps. Read-across requires a significant amount of verification for proper incorporation, but, fortunately, as advancements occur in information technology, intuitive database subscriptions are making it easier than ever to maximize the output of this method. Stem cell, genetic, and in-vitro testing methods are also used as animal testing replacements.
Reduction alternatives to animal testing are the strategies that result in fewer laboratory animals. To obtain sufficient data during the research process, toxicology professionals must maximize the information obtained per animal. In many cases, this approach results in limited data, but a reduced risk of harm to multiple animals. Much like working within the read-across method, scientists must spend more time comparing analog chemicals in the event that there are not enough test subjects per chemical.
Finally, refinement is the modification of husbandry-related or experimental procedures to minimize pain and distress to the subjects. The goal of this approach is to enhance the welfare of these animals from the time they are born. Some companies, of course, prefer methods that completely eliminate the use of laboratory animals. Whatever animal testing alternative is chosen, company researchers must make sure that they are armed with the best chemical literature.
The Best Tool for Researching Animal Testing Alternatives
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