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TAR HEEL: WARREN CASEY IS USING SCIENCE TO SAVE LAB RATS
WHY CURING CANCER IS SO HARD
Oncologist Azra Raza is the director of the MDS Center at Columbia, where she moves the latest cancer therapies from theory to practice.
Years of scientific research called into question as it is revealed that mice and men are genetically further apart than previously thought.
Mice and men are genetically far further apart than was previously thought, calling into question the important role the rodents play in medical research. A new study has found that while mice and humans share many protein-coding genes, the way their genes are regulated is often very different.
US scientists were surprised to find that gene activity diverged wildly between the two species in some key biological pathways. The finding may help explain why more than 90% of new medicines that pass animal tests then fail in human trials.
Laboratory mice have been a pillar of medical research for more than a century, being used by scientists investigating everything from social behaviour to obesity.
Professor Bing Ren, from the University of California at San Diego, who co-led the new research, said...
GERMAN MEPS THAT SUPPORT STOP VIVISECTION: JO LEINEN
German MEPs that support Stop Vivisection: Jo Leinen (Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament).
"Protecting basic animal rights is a moral obligation and of personal interest at the same time. Animal experiments belong to the past; and this should be reflected in our laws. For this purpose, I support the European Citizens' Initiative "Stop Vivisection" for a modern science without animal experiments".
GERMAN MEPS THAT SUPPORT STOP VIVISECTION: MICHAEL CRAMER
German MEPs that support Stop Vivisection: Michael Cramer (Group of the Greens/European Free Allliance).
"Ninety five per cent of all animal tests cannot predict how humans will react to the same treatment. In order to protect humans and animals, we urgently need to use alternative methods. I will push this issue in Europe".
For the first time, and to the astonishment of many of their colleagues, researchers created what they call Alzheimer’s in a Dish — a petri dish with human brain cells that develop the telltale structures of Alzheimer’s disease. In doing so, they resolved a longstanding problem of how to study Alzheimer’s and search for drugs to treat it; the best they had until now were mice that developed an imperfect form of the disease.
The key to their success, said the lead researcher, Rudolph E. Tanzi of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, was a suggestion by his colleague Doo Yeon Kim to grow human brain cells in a gel, where they formed networks as in an actual brain. They gave the neurons genes for Alzheimer’s disease. Within weeks they saw the hard Brillo-like clumps known as plaques and then the twisted spaghetti-like coils known as tangles — the defining features of Alzheimer’s disease.
The work, which also offers strong support for an old idea about how the disease progresses, was published in Nature on Sunday. Leading...
Per la prima volta un centro di sperimentazione autorizzato dal Ministero della Salute e simbolo della vivisezione in Italia verrà rinviato a giudizio per “uccisione non necessitata di animali”, come previsto dall’articolo 544 bis del Codice Penale. Lo ha deciso la Procura della Repubblica di Lanciano (Chieti) a chiusura dell’inchiesta scaturita da una nostra denuncia e dalle indagini svolte dal Corpo Forestale dello Stato.
Esprimiamo la nostra soddisfazione per la decisione della Procura che in quattro mesi ha raccolto elementi di prova a carico del Mario Negri Sud, evidentemente così schiaccianti da poter arrivare a questa prima conclusione.
Il caso era stato sollevato in seguito alle notizie di cronaca relative alla soppressione di oltre un migliaio di topi “da laboratorio” all'Istituto Mario Negri Sud a causa della mancanza di fondi per mantenerli. La LAV, dopo la denuncia, lo scorso 1° agosto aveva ottenuto la custodia di 49 topi, che aveva provveduto a trasferire in una struttura idonea a garantire...
What tax payers should know, a reflection by Stop Vivisection promoter Andre Menache.
By now, most of us have heard of the Human Brain Project, whose aim is to simulate the complete human brain using supercomputers. The project is largely funded by the European Union and overseen by the École Polytechnique Federal de Lausanne (EPFL). This roughly ten year project (2013 – 2024) will attempt to better understand the most complex organ in the universe and also simulate drug treatments for human mental diseases. If this sounds too good to be true it’s probably because it is. The human brain contains around 86 billion nerve cells, each capable of creating thousands of interconnections with other nerve cells, with mind boggling permutations. But the brain is much more than the sum of its parts. Although a supercomputer could hypothetically unravel the way in which the brain does maths, how would a two-dimensional supercomputer simulate human emotion or language, for example?
A reductionist approach to attempt to mimic the most complex organ in the universe is destined to face significant...
Several blockbuster drugs would not be on the market, if scientists had relied solely on drug-uptake in animal trials, according to new research.
The research, carried out by PharmaInformatic, a German biotech company, compared study results on drug-uptake (“Oral Bioavailability”) in animals and humans for a large number of approved and established drugs.
Results showed that oral bioavailability in animals is inconsistent with the values reported for humans and large differences can exist. This also applies to very successful commercial drugs, called blockbuster drugs, with annual sales of more than one billion US Dollar.
In drug development today, a large number of compounds...
Pamela Anderson has made a media splash by refusing to take part in the ice bucket challenge in support of the ALS Association because of its history of funding animal experiments that she describes as being cruel and fruitless.
Her stance has sparked widespread discussion. The question for us to consider is does Ms. Anderson have a point?
As a board-certified neurologist who has cared for and as the principle investigator of grant-funded research with ALS patients, I have literally cried with my patients and their families when I had to give them the devastating news that they had Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), or "Lou Gehrig's Disease."
Like so many neurological diseases, ALS is a truly terrible and...
Bio researcher Geraldine Hamilton on alternative methods to animal experimentation. Subtitles available in 26 languages, click here.
Intervista con Susanna Penco, biologa e ricercatrice all'Università di Genova.
There's an old joke: "How many baby monkeys do you have take from their mothers to prove that maternal deprivation is harmful?" The answer: "As many as the NIH will pay for." The joke is old because it refers to the 1970s work of Harry Harlow, who removed primate infants from their mothers and housed them with cloth or mechanical surrogates. Some of the surrogates were programmed to abuse the infants, periodically jabbing them with sharp implements. Harlow may be most famous for placing baby monkeys in what he blithely termed the "pit of despair," a dark chamber in which they were entirely isolated for a year. The psychological damage incurred was permanent, not rectifiable by subsequent care and socialization. We learned much from...
Roy Andersson’s surrealist drama, "A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence", is the final part of a trilogy about human beings. Marked by “silica gel humor”, it is a film about the daily horror and absurdity of living. To see the film's trailer click here.
A new UK startup is developing a unique new method for testing the impact of pharmaceutical drugs on the heart without having to resort to animal testing or early-stage human clinical trials.
InoCardia, the company in question, is a spin-out from the Coventry University. It is currently in the process of validating the model and commercialising the business. It has already attracted funding from Mercia Fund Management, a Venture Capital (VC) fund that has tie-ins with eight West Midlands universities and specialises in sectors such as medical research, disruptive technology, financial technology and e-commerce.
The funding and further help from Mercia has been invaluable in furthering InoCardia as a business, says Dr Helen Maddock, an academic at Coventry University’s Centre for Applied Biological and Exercise Sciences and the chief executive officer (CEO) of InoCardia.
For example, Mercia has linked...
Over the past 5 years a team at Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering has been building a pioneering human "organ-on-a-chip" tech platform for discovery-based work on new therapies. And it's being spun out today to make a go of it as an independent company dubbed Emulate Inc., backed with a $12 million A round from a group that includes the billionaire founder of the institute that created the technology.
Emulate Inc. is getting started with money from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, venture capital group NanoDimension, and private investor Hansjorg Wyss--the Swiss med tech billionaire who founded the institute at Harvard with a donation of $125 million. And the biotech has enough enough money to execute on a 3-year game plan, says CEO James Coon, marketing the chip technology to research labs while forging new industry collaborations.
The goal of the new company, says Coon, is to take a core group of people who built the technology...
Dear Member of the European Parliament,
We first of all want to congratulate you on your election to the European Parliament. At the same time we ask for a moment of your attention in order to explain the meaning of the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) STOPVIVISECTION, which has brilliantly succeeded in collecting more than one million signatures.
As you well know, the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) is a new instrument of direct citizen participation in the legislative process of the European Union. Thanks to this instrument the signature of at least one million citizens may indicate a legislative process to follow, legally binding. The ‘STOPVIVISECTION’ ECI aims to achieve - from below - a path of complete withdrawal from animal testing, in favor of new advanced and reliable methods of scientific research.
Animal experimentation is based on a grotesque scientific error, if we consider that experiments carried out on other species are not predictive for the human species. It therefore is a totally unreliable method for the protection of our health, and of the environment, which is closely linked to our health.
Animal testing also is a cruel practice, applied in Europe to tens of millions of animals each year, in conflict with ...
The number of experiments conducted in British laboratories in 2013 was the highest in nearly 30 years, according to government statistics published today. The total of 4.12 million ‘procedures’ exceeded the 2012 figure by 11,600. The use of genetically modified (GM) mice once again dominated the Home Office’s (HO) annual figures, and the department’s strategy is a clear one: to suggest that little or no suffering is involved in this area of research because most of it involves benign breeding programmes.
In reality, as Animal Aid’s 2013 report, Science Corrupted revealed, GM animals undergo severe and traumatic suffering, as a result of:
- Being subjected to invasive gene-altering surgery
- Being born with devastating but unintended malformations, such as facial deformities and exposed internal organs
- Suffering ‘designed-in’ conditions including heart disease, brain damage and cancer
- Being subjected to cruel experiments that have involved injecting acid into their stomachs or being locked in plexiglass chambers and forced to inhale tobacco smoke
Of the 3.08 million procedures on mice conducted in 2013, 2,190,742 were on genetically modified animals or those with harmful genetic mutations. Universities were the biggest GM mice users. In fact, universities now account for 49% of all experiments conducted in British labs. Important sources of their funding, as Animal Aid has revealed, are medical research charities funded by public donations, and government research council grants paid for by the taxpayer.
Another alarming development, revealed today by...
Dear Member of the European Parliament,
we wish to express our great satisfaction for your success in being elected to the European Parliament. At the same time, we wish to thank you again for having joined the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) STOP VIVISECTION.
We believe that your joining our Initiative has contributed to your political success, as you gave evidence of your commitment for the protection of human health and of the weakest creatures, animals.
After the end of our collection of signatures (a total of more than 1,150,000 signatures has already been confirmed as valid by the government bodies responsible for certification), we are now starting the second part of our campaign for STOPVIVISECTION.
With the support of a very large number of scientific experts (whose number is constantly growing) and many enlightened people devoted to the defence of common good, we shall now explain the importance of our campaign at all political levels .
The new European Commission that will take office next autumn, must, according to the regulation of the European Citizens’ Initiatives, organise a public hearing during which we are going to explain our reasons for STOPVIVISECTION.
This will be a very important opportunity for ...
Click here to know the complete list of MEPs supporting our initiative.
Click on the banner to see the list of EU parliament candidates supporting Stop Vivisection.
The European Citizens Initiative (ECI) is an instrument of participative democracy for European citizens. Provided that a minimum of one million signatures are obtained, the EU will be legally obliged to have citizens take part in the decision making process.
1.340.000 EU citizens signed the “STOP VIVISECTION” ECI, calling for a total ban on animal experimentation in favour of research methods that are scientifically relevant and reliable, based on the wishes of EU citizens.
Animal experimentation is founded on the scientifically invalid assumption that tests on animals can predict human response. It therefore represents an unreliable method of protecting human health and the environment, which also directly impacts on human health.
Animal experimentation is also a cruel practice, responsible for causing suffering to tens of millions of animals every year throughout Europe, and contravenes art. 13 of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union, according to which animals are sentient beings and therefore deserve our protection.
After the forthcoming elections, the European Parliament and the Commission will be required to schedule a public meeting to...
1 MILLION VALID SIGNATURES
The national authorities have confirmed to us that we have collected more than 1 million valid signatures for the European Citizens’ Initiative STOP VIVISECTION.
This means that STOP VIVISECTION will continue the institutional process and will be the first Citizens’ Initiative discussed and analyzed by the next European Parliament and European Commission.
In September 2014 the official hearing of our representatives André Menache and Gianni Tamino will be held in Bruxelles, at the European Parliament. In October 2014 we will have the official reply of the European Commission that will explain in which way it will act to comply with our requests.
After over a month of intense work, on the 23rd of December 2013, the signatures collected in support of STOP VIVISECTION were submitted to the competent authorities of the European Union’s 28 Member States. The final number of statements supporting the initiative was 1.326.000, the extraordinary result of the commitment and perseverance of the thousands of volunteers of national committees and of hundreds of associations and committees all over Europe that worked hard to achieve this amazing objective.
Twelve Countries achieved their national targets with a very modest budget of approximately 25.000 euros, collected through the donations of supporters and NGOs.
National Authorities will now proceed to certify the validity of the signatures by the end of March 2014 and subsequently disclose the final result achieved by STOP VIVISECTION, although the margin of 300,000 extra signatures that top the required one million, reduces the possibility of bad surprises.
Once the STOP VIVISECTION initiative is approved, the European Commission will convene a hearing with our Scientific Committee, after which it will have to specify the actions it plans to take to enforce the will expressed by European citizens. We therefore call on every single Association, Committee and Citizen to continue disseminating, sensitising and exerting pressure to give strength to the growing number of...