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This most recent breakthrough in animal testing alternatives comes from a team of Maryland scientists working on ways to treat exposure to chemical weapons inside the U.S. Army Lab, reports ABC 7.
Recently, we’ve had a string of great news that shows the tides are turning in favor of animal testing alternatives. China plans to phase out mandatory testing of cosmetics on animals — something it has required for over twenty years. A newly developed technology created by professor James Hickman, at the University of Central Florida, mimics standard human muscular function which allows researchers to monitor muscular function and its response to different treatments without using human or animal subjects. Just the other day, bioengineering PhD student Alan Faulkner-Jones began pioneering the use of 3-D printing to replace medical animal testing.
Now, we have a team in Maryland, who ABC 7 reports, “is using adult stem cells that can grow into cells from just about any of the body’s organs, which they believe will allow them to more accurately and more quickly test effects of a toxin or a drug–potentially any substance–on a person, eliminating the need for animal subjects.”
The future of medical testing without the use of animal subjects is a more scientifically accurate and humane future. Dr. Harry Salem, 84, a researcher on the team commented how he hopes to start seeing a dramatic reduction in animal testing within five years. And he says he expects to still be working in his lab when it happens.
We hope so too.
Image Source: Understanding Animal Research / Flickr