Langley G, Evans T, Holgate ST, Jones A. Replacing animal experiments: choices, chances and challenges. Bioessays 2007; 29(9): 918-26.
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Replacing animal procedures with methods such as cells and tissues in vitro, volunteer studies, physicochemical techniques and computer modelling, is driven by legislative, scientific and moral imperatives. Non-animal approaches are now considered as advanced methods that can overcome many of the limitations of animal experiments. In testing medicines and chemicals, in vitro assays have spared hundreds of thousands of animals. In contrast, academic animal use continues to rise and the concept of replacement seems less well accepted in university research. Even so, some animal procedures have been replaced in neurological, reproductive and dentistry research and progress is being made in fields such as respiratory illnesses, pain and sepsis. Systematic reviews of the transferability of animal data to the clinical setting may encourage a fresh look for novel non-animal methods and, as mainstream funding becomes available, more advances in replacement are expected.