University of Nottingham researchers want to eliminate animals in laboratory research and they're rebuilding their lab to do it.
By improving the use of cell and tissue cultures, computer modelling, cell and molecular biology, epidemiology and other methods, they intend to show they can completely remove animals from medical research — while still working to defeat diseases that affect millions of people.
The laboratory is called FRAME – Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments - and they've been quietly advocating reduced animal testing for 25 years.
They do this by what they call use of the ‘Three Rs’ — refinement, reduction and replacement. Refinement of procedures so that the suffering of any animals necessarily used is minimised, reduction of the number of animals used to an unavoidable minimum, and ultimately replacement of animals altogether with validated alternative methods such as cell cultures and computer modelling.
Professor Michael Balls, Chairman of the Trustees of FRAME, said: “The FRAME Alternatives Laboratory has deservedly earned an international reputation for its contributions to the development and validation of non-animal procedures to replace animal tests on chemicals and products of various kinds. The new facility will enable our work to reach out in new directions, so that we will be able to maintain our position at the forefront of research on alternatives to animal experimentation.”
FRAME researcher say thet recognize that immediate abolition of all animal experiments is not possible because vital medical research must continue to find treatments for diseases which lessen the quality of human and animal life.
New consumer products, medicines, and industrial and agricultural chemicals must be adequately tested in order to identify potential hazards to human and animal health, and to the environment.
Dr Andy Bennett, Director of the FRAME Alternatives Laboratory, said: “The new FRAME laboratories will provide a wonderful facility that will take our research into human cell culture-based alternatives forward.
“The positioning of the laboratory in the Medical School is highly beneficial and will allow us to further strengthen research links with clinicians and basic scientists at the University and the Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.”