The answer to the question about the reality of an alternative to animal testing is not only a resounding yes but it is already in place in many major companies. PETA or People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals provides a non-exhaustive list of companies that have mandated that animal testing cannot be allowed on any of their products. While it is true that these companies are primarily in the beauty and cosmetics industry, medical research departments and many of the larger pharmaceutical companies are also striving for alternatives to experimentation on live animals.
One option to avoid testing medications on animals is to use the massive databases and new technology that literally reproduces a model of the human body. From this software programming models of how the drug or chemical will impact on the brain and body of a human can be generated without the need for animal testing. Since the research shows that much of the data collected from testing animals is invalid for human responses this is doubly rewarding for the medical research community.
One research university that takes this very seriously is John Hopkins. There is an active and ongoing effort through the Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing to provide researchers with a variety of options that don’t require any animals in the testing at all. FRAME, a similar program in the UK is also devoted to studying and promoting any possible alternative to animal testing available.
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