animal replacement

/Tag:animal replacement

Exploring the use of alternatives to animals in undergraduate education in Australia

Catherine Mallia, Patricia Logan and Rafael Freire

The replacement, reduction and refinement of animal use in education is part of the regulatory legislation in Australia, and requires the use of alternatives to animals where appropriate. The aims of this study were: a) to explore the extent of the replacement of animals when teaching life sciences to Australian undergraduate students; b) to understand which alternative models were being used, and the learning objectives covered; and c) to gain some insight into the circumstances facilitating the use of alternatives to animals in education. An anonymous online survey, consisting of open and closed questions, was conducted among faculty members that used either animal or alternative models in their teaching. A total of 27 faculty members participated, from eight universities. Human anatomy and physiology had the highest number of survey participants who had replaced animals entirely with alternative models. These subjects also had the highest number of participants that were using animal models. According to the participants, most learning objectives were met effectively by both types of model. Participants who only used alternatives were influenced by ethical considerations significantly more than those who used animal models and alternatives. We concluded that, while some participants have replaced animals successfully, others in the same field are still employing them, and that there appears to be a range of barriers to the wider adoption of alternatives to animal use.

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SEARCHBreast Workshop Proceedings: 3D Modelling of Breast Cancer

Bethny Morrissey, Karen Blyth, Phil Carter, Claude Chelala, Ingunn Holen, Louise Jones and Valerie Speirs

SEARCHBreast, a UK initiative supported by the NC3Rs, organised a workshop entitled 3D Modelling of Breast Cancer. The workshop focused on providing researchers with solutions to overcome some of the perceived barriers to working with human-derived tumour cells, cell lines and tissues, namely: a) the limited access to human-derived material; and b) the difficulty in working with these samples. The workshop presentations provided constructive advice and information on how to best prepare human cells or tissues for further downstream applications. Techniques in developing primary cultures from patient samples, and considerations when preserving tissue slices, were discussed. A common theme throughout the workshop was the importance of ensuring that the cells are grown in conditions as similar to the in vivo microenvironment as possible. Comparisons of the advantages of several in vitro options, such as primary cell cultures, cell line cultures, explants or tissue slices, suggest that all offer great potential applications for breast cancer research, and highlight that it need not be a case of choosing one over the other. The workshop also offered cutting-edge examples of on-chip technologies and 3-D tumour modelling by using virtual pathology, which can contribute to clinically relevant studies and provide insights into breast cancer metastatic mechanisms.

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