Animal testing is still highly controversial and there is a significant need for alternatives. With a new research network funded by the Ministry of Science and Culture of Lower Saxony with 4.5 million euros, replacement methods will be developed and animal experiments will be significantly reduced in the future.
The new research network "R2N - Replace and Reduce from Lower Saxony - Replacement and Supplementary Methods for a Future-oriented Biomedical Research" is supported by the Hannover Medical School( MHH), the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, the University Medical Center Göttingen and the Leibniz Universität Hannover. The initiator is the Lower Saxony Ministry of Science and Culture. The goal is a drastic reduction of animal experiments.
Meeting societal responsibility
With the aid of millions, the research association is to develop replacement and supplementary methods for animal experiments, so that the animal experiments in research are significantly reduced and only used as ultima ratio, explains theLower Saxony Minister for Science and Culture, Gabriele Heinen-Kljajić."At the same time we give more weight to the social responsibility of science and ethical issues," emphasizes the Minister. In addition to colleges and universities, the Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine, the German Primate Center and the TWINCORE Center for Experimental and Clinical Infection Research are involved in the network.
Reduce the Number of Animal Experiments to the Indispensable Level
Nils Hoppe, spokesman for the Center for Ethics and Law in the Life Sciences( CELLS) at Leibniz Universität Hannover, emphasizes that the "project is particularly in need of a legal and ethical dimension".According to the expert, the legal component plays an important role because the best alternative methods do not help if they can only be legally established by the scientists. Over a period of four years, the researchers will develop replacement and supplemental methods for animal experiments in order to avoid animal testing or limit the number of animals in experiments to an indispensable level.
- More and more in demand
- Medical free care
- Price for alternative methods to animal testing
- New models of long-term care insurance
Also ethical issues are taken into account
According to the Leibniz University, methods are being researched in the association, the experiments on living animals through investigationsto replace organs ex vivo and by research on cell cultures. However, methods "that can not completely replace the use of animals for specific questions, but can significantly reduce the number of animals for this problem" are being researched here. In various sub-projects, alternative methods in basic research and so-called translational research will be developed. Ethical issues are also dealt with in the network.
"The Leibniz University is showing its great strength in this alliance: The connection of natural sciences with the humanities in the context of the research of responsible and reflected science," stresses Professor Dr. med. Nils Hoppe. The exchange between the scientists should also be promoted in the network and the establishment of a network for alternative methods should be made possible.(fp)