News archive

By genetic engineering scientists got one step closer to solve the cause of neurogenerative diseases. Scientists of the Max-Planck-Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) in Martinsried near Munich used the method of transfection of HEK293T cells with artificial proteins to find out how protein aggregates lead to neurogenerative diseases like Alzheimer, Parkinson or Chorea Huntington.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has launched a call to expand the reserve list of the External Review Working Group. Committed to the continuous enhancement of its scientific work, the European Food Safety Authority will organise the second external review of the quality of its scientific outputs.

The 2010 research award of the German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV) supports methodological works to reduce or replace animal experiments. It carries a value of 15.000 Euro and will be awarded on December 15, 2010 to a research group of the Paul-Ehrlich Institute (PEI). The scientists of the “Langen-Group” receive the price for their development of an in vitro method for detecting the remaining toxicity in tetanus vaccine. The group is listed in our survey of working groups which are developing animal free research methods.

At the 17th of november, the EU-Commission has decided that the painful mouse-bioassay (MBA) for detection of algae toxins in shellfish has to be replaced within three years by chemico-/physical methods.

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an omega-3 fatty acid. In transgenic mouse model studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acid consumption can reduce Alzheimer disease risk. An examinations with Alzheimer patients DHA did not slow the rate of cognitive and functional decline of brain.

The Directive will enter into force on 9th Nov. 2010. Using animals should only be considered where a non-animal alternative is unavailable. To promote the principle of reduction, Member States should facilitate the establishment of programmes for sharing organs and tissues. Availability of alternative methods is dependent on the progress of the research into the development of alternatives. There is an increasing need for new methods to be developed and proposed for validation. Community programmes provide increasing funding for projects which aim to replace, reduce and refine the use of animals.

Harvard bioengineers have been awarded $3.3 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (NIH-FDA) to develop a "Heart-Lung Micromachine". The device will accelerate drug safety and efficacy testing.

The Congress Linz 2010, this year the major international scientific event in the field of the 3Rs, took place on 2nd – 4th September in Linz, Austria. The congress was held as a joint congress of the European Society for Toxicology In Vitro (ESTIV) and the European Society for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EUSAAT). It was therefore the 16th International Congress on In Vitro Toxicology, the 13th Annual Congress of EUSAAT and the 16th Congress on Alternatives to Animal Testing.

A group of researchers, funded by the European Comission, published in the actual issue of „Reproductive Toxicology“ a study, the so called "Feasibility Study" within the project ReProTect, in which they determine the hurtful effects of chemicals on reproduction reliably with animal-free methods.

An animal-free method has been included in the OECD test guideline (439 In Vitro Skin Irritation: Reconstructed Human Epidermis Test Method) on July, 22. This method now is approved by the authorities and has world-wide validity. With implementation of this in vitro test the amount of rabbits killed is expected to decrease significantly.