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"Computer models...have saved millions of animals from suffering in toxicity testing experiments.". After a chemical agent is ingested, it ultimately reacts with the liver, giving rise to a myriad of so-called metabolites—some of which are toxic. Science may soon be able to eliminate the hangover (but not the buzz), Botched Execution Shows Perils of Lethal Injection Drug Shortage. Mice hanging by their tails from sensors during ... tells Newsweek. See why nearly a quarter of a million subscribers begin their day with the Starting 5. Dr. David Katz, a director at Yale University's Prevention Research Center who has worked with a wide range of vaccine developers and other experimental researchers, says the prevailing opinion is best described as conflicted. "It's not the easiest job for a chemist to isolate these metabolites from biological fluids," Mukund Chorghade, a veteran chemist who spent two and a half decades in the pharmaceutical industry, tells Newsweek. "Answers to this vexing question come in shades of gray, not black or white," he told Newsweek.
"The scientists and policy-makers of the future are going to be much less tolerant of the practice," says Goodman. Scientists are working on an alcohol surrogate that could provide all the elements of a beer buzz, without the morning after. Breakthroughs Might Mean the End of Animal Testing. It sounds complex, but it's really just a fancy term for computer simulation. And note that dementia rates are expected to triple by 2050. That lab was eventually fined and shuttered after a probe spurred by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, where Goodman now heads the department of laboratory investigations.

Between 1949 and 2001, public dissent rose from below 10 percent to about 30 percent.
Deep ties between the authors of a widely used manual on mental disorders and the pharmaceutical industry come under fire It did so by providing a level of specificity that would otherwise have required about 1,000 rats and 100 dogs. "These microchips...could one day form an accurate alternative to traditional animal testing.". In 2013, the bill died in Congress for the fourth time. It has also opened up a field of inquiry about the unnerving price of all this. In 2014, 43 percent of respondents oppose animal experimentation, with the college-age generation emerging as a breakaway demographic. Still, its board of directors publicly opposed the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act, which would have prohibited invasive research on primates like chimpanzees. ", The innovation takes the place of animal mediums: Instead of running the drug through an animal liver, a chemist can now force the drug to react with the chemosynthetic liver. A human-on-a-chip, if you will. The goal is to build 10 miniature systems and link them together, thereby mimicking whole-body physiology. In 2014, the limitations of animal testing appear to have caught up with research and development, leading many to question whether the practice is still relevant. From One of the Most Powerful Men in College Football to Prison? For many laboratory scientists, this waning approval isn't cause for concern, because a near-identical trend is emerging within the research community, and more and more U.S. labs are using innovative cross-disciplinary technologies to spare at least some of the 25 million animals used for research annually. That project dovetails with a similar effort at Harvard's Wyss Institute, where researchers are currently developing "organs-on-chips"—microchips that can mimic the functions of vital organs. But machines will never be able to do everything a rat can. See why nearly a quarter of a million subscribers begin their day with the Starting 5. But it is much harder to draw the line where an organism become recognizable as a living, breathing thing, close enough to human that it deserves protection from our ways and means. "The idea was very simple: First of all, we started with liver cells, which can generate these metabolic products," he explains. Depression research.

The proposed pipeline currently includes lung-on-a-chip, heart-on-a-chip, kidney-on-a-chip, and even brain-on-a-chip. "The use of primates in research has increased, and the use of mice has exploded," Goodman tells Newsweek. "This is the central contradiction of animal experimentation: Mice are like us in all the ways that matter, so they're used as stand-ins for humans - but the moral significance of those similarities is ignored," says Justin Goodman, who has been an animal rights activist since he saw scientists drill holes in the heads of monkeys as an undergraduate at the University of Connecticut. Policymakers and scientific authorities are in agreement: U.S. research must do more to avoid and minimize animal testing. After centuries of scholarship and decades of technological breakthroughs in computation, many biological reactions can now be emulated and predicted with sophisticated algorithms. When it comes to drug discovery and development, these limitations can jeopardize every segment of the pharmaceutical pipeline, from synthesis to prescription. A secret drug cocktail used in Oklahoma took 40 minutes to kill a man. For a long time, animal testing has been the only way to derive these profiles. Pussy Riot: We Were Pummeled and Pepper Sprayed in Sochi. "It looked like torture," a lawyer said. These lab-raised animals don't burrow or gather like their wild peers. But the practice, they say, must reach a minimum-not a complete halt. But these experiments are far from perfect, because they rarely yield a complete picture of all potential byproducts. Lab mice, it seems, are painted in these shades.

That doesn't mean animal testing doesn't work—in fact, the Food and Drug Administration mandates its use in virtually all drug review processes. "We imagine a future where we're able to identify every possible metabolite.". It is a vocal proponent of animal testing - as long as it is done in what they consider a "responsible" fashion. John Ericson As seen in: Newsweek , Newsweek Europe , Medical Daily , Jewish World Review That puts more pressure on the scientific community, but, as its name suggests, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)supports strategies that lead to breakthroughs. One of the more pressing issues is metabolite profiling, where researchers try to figure out what exactly will happen to the body when it tries to process a given pharmaceutical. By suspending microfluidic channels of living human cells in clear polymer, the team is able to create tiny biological systems no bigger than a computer memory stick. Still, while the American public is often quick to jump up in support of animal ethics, the complete elimination of animal experimentation is a minority view. That puts it halfway to FDA approval. Articles by John Ericson on Muck Rack. Public support for animal testing has been in steady decline since the 1950s, dropping from above 90 percent in 1949 to only 57 percent in 2013. "Advanced computer-modeling techniques can be used instead of animals in disease research, drug development and chemical testing," Amy Clippinger, a cellular and molecular biologist who currently works with PETA, tells Newsweek. Last year, he broke through.

And while animal models give only the gist of the results, the chemosynthetic liver offers new clarity. See why nearly a quarter of a million subscribers begin their day with the Starting 5. But what if it hadn't? The most obvious problem is the fundamental biological difference between humans and the animals used in research. While the public has no qualms swatting flies or taking antibiotics, very few would ever kill a dog for sport. After months of development, he and his team found themselves with the chemical compound they now call the "chemosynthetic liver. You have 4 free articles remaining this month, Sign-up to our daily newsletter for more articles like this + access to 5 extra articles. Even if a new chemical entity is deemed safe at the animal stage, it still only has an 8 percent chance of being approved for human use. An example of this is called in silico modelling.

Depressed mice become immobile, so their activity, as detected by the sensors, is a measure of the effectiveness of treatments for depression. Animal testing proponents like the AAAS and the FBR submit that the most sensible approach is one that improves and minimizes the use of animals in labs. Of late, Goodman has found many converts to his position: Gallup polls show that more and more Americans are expressing concern regarding the use of mice and other animals in lab settings. What if rights activists had swayed Congress, quelled the academy, drummed up public outrage, wrenched open the bars, and hauled all the lab animals back into the wild? Though still in its early phase, the method has already proven viable in 50 similar sample studies. Metabolites that are highly water-soluble, for example, are easy to miss, as they quickly disappear in conventional solvents. Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act.

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The latest articles by John Ericson at Newsweek. One of the more alarming consequences of a prohibition would be the crushing blow to research on neurodegenerative disease. Side effects are missed, and millions of dollars are wasted. Researchers are no strangers to the ethical dilemma. Deep ties between the authors of a widely used manual on mental disorders and the pharmaceutical industry come under fire. To continue reading login or create an account. Pick any drug you've heard of; it was probably tested on a rat. Mice hanging by their tails from sensors during research on treatments for depression. You have 4 free articles remaining this month, Sign-up to our daily newsletter for more articles like this + access to 5 extra articles.

According to Katz, efforts to resolve this ethical riddle are bound to fail. To continue reading login or create an account. But rather than prohibition, most scientists speak of an irreducible minimum. Metabolic profiling is aimed at spotting these bad seeds and removing them. A move away from animal testing will require some lateral thinking: Life must become a little more abstract.

By John Ericson On 03/18/14 at 1:08 PM EDT . But while compassion and ethics are indeed factors, the new paradigm is actually driven by a striving for improvement that is a hallmark of the best science. This work is being carried out at the CNRS Institute of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology (IPMC), Valbonne, France.

Newsweek Magazine By John Ericson On 02/20/14 at 1:04 PM EST A white rat stands on a desk at an animal laboratory of a medical school on February 16, 2008 in Chongqing Municipality, China.

The central moral question here resembles the age-old paradox of the heap: At what point do we start calling a collection of individual grains a "heap"?

"If you've ever taken antibiotics, had a vaccine, had chemotherapy, an MRI, a blood transfusion, dialysis, an organ transplant, bypass surgery or joint replacement, you have been the beneficiary of research that started with lab animals.". "You're left with very small quantities, and now the big challenge for you is to understand what you have in your hand.

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