Snails, slime moulds and flies
Government funding for alternatives research, through NC3Rs, has nearly doubled this year compared with 2008. This follows last week's news that animal procedures rose significantly in 2008 compared with 2007. Dr Vicky Robinson, Chief Executive of NC3Rs, said 'If we are to reduce animal use and at the same time continue to develop new treatments for diseases then we must engage the best minds and harness the best science and technology'.
NC3Rs is investing £4.5 million in 13 new three Rs research projects, giving grants to 'scientists who are trying to develop treatments in major areas of concern such as cancer, motor neurone disease and Alzheimer's disease. If they can do this, and reduce their reliance on animal use then this has to be good news.'
The grants aim to harness the latest technologies as alternatives to vertebrate animals, such as induced pluripotent stem cells, and lower species including snails, slime moulds and flies.
This model for 3Rs research, in which activity is firmly embedded in good science, well-funded and co-ordinated centrally, is one which the bioscience sector in the UK supports and commends to other countries.