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Hastings Center resources chart progress in debate over medical research with animals
Date:2/7/2013

ations and the decision by the National Institutes of Health to implement them. "The policy changes represent a watershed in animal research policy," writes Kahn, the Robert Henry Levi and Ryada Hecht Levi Professor of Bioethics and Public Policy in the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. The recommendations "will impose the strongest restrictions to date on the use of any animal species for research in the United States, a major change in animal research policy in general."

Another example of change is a "paradigm shift" in toxicology testing that aims to replace animals with a process that uses human cells to study a chemical's "pathway of toxicity." Traditionally, rats and mice have been used to study the toxicity of new chemicals before they are tested in humans, but these experiments require large number of animals, take years to complete, and predict human toxicity only 43 percent of the time, writes Joanne Zurlo, director of science strategy for the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She describes a new experimental approach that uses human cells to study a chemical's toxicity. "The paradigm shift in toxicology testing is the most significant force to date leading to the ultimate elimination of animal use for biomedical research and testing," Zurlo concludes.

A commentary by Kathleen Conlee and Andrew Rowan, senior officials at the Humane Society of the United States, argues that phasing out invasive research on nonhuman primates must be a priority for ethical, scientific, and economic reasons. The authors state that most nonhuman primate research is unnecessary and animal maintenance is expensive, with the government spending $1 billion of its $32 billion annual budget on the nation's primate research centers.

But Dr. D. Eugene Redmond, Jr., professor of psychiatry and neurosurgery at the Yale University School of Medicine, makes the case that nonhuman prim
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Contact: Susan Gilbert
gilberts@thehastingscenter.org
845-424-4040 x244
The Hastings Center
Source:Eurekalert

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