Laboratorios Gobierno EEUU dejarán de usar animales para pruebas

Escrito por Nuria Querol i Viñas.

laboratory.1Un programa ambicioso que presentaron ayer tres organismos gubernamentales de los Estados Unidos podría terminar con las pruebas experimentales con animales empleadas para la evaluación de la toxicidad de químicos y drogas. La firma del "Memorando de entendimiento", que especifica el desarrollo de nuevos métodos para probar drogas y químicos corrió por cuenta de las Agencia de Protección Ambiental, el Programa Nacional de Toxicología y los institutos nacionales de salud estadounidenses. http://www.clarin.com/diario/2008/02/16/sociedad/s-05203.htm

PROPUESTA EN EE.UU.

¿Se viene el fin de las pruebas con animales?

Un programa ambicioso que presentaron ayer tres organismos gubernamentales de los Estados Unidos podría terminar con las pruebas experimentales con animales empleadas para la evaluación de la toxicidad de químicos y drogas. La firma del "Memorando de entendimiento", que especifica el desarrollo de nuevos métodos para probar drogas y químicos corrió por cuenta de las Agencia de Protección Ambiental, el Programa Nacional de Toxicología y los institutos nacionales de salud estadounidenses.

Los organismos estatales que participan de la iniciativa adelantaron que la implementación de los nuevos métodos de análisis de la toxicidad de químicos y drogas podría exigir años de espera. Todos requieren validación científica para llevarse a cabo.

La propuesta nueva consiste en introducir células humanas crecidas en tubos de ensayo, que fluyen hacia unos contenedores donde se disponen los químicos y las drogas. A continuación, una máquina ilumina un láser sobre cada recipiente para analizar cuántas células permenecieron vivas después de haberles colocado los químicos. La computadora de la máquina analiza la toxicidad de los componentes sobre la base de la reacción celular.

Ya se probaron 300 químicos por intermedio de este nuevo método, indicó Robert Kavlok, director del Centro Nacional de Toxicología Computacional.

Las autoridades indicaron que en el futuro se podría analizar la toxicidad de un compuesto con ensayos de laborario en lugar de seguir inyectando dosis experimentales de drogas y químicos en ratones, ratas y conejos para ver si sobreviven o mueren.

http://lta.reuters.com/article/topNews/idLTAN1525301420080215

Laboratorios Gobierno EEUU dejarán de usar animales para pruebas

viernes 15 de febrero de 2008 09:29 GYT
 

Por Maggie Fox

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Los laboratorios del Gobierno de Estados Unidos dejarán de usar animales en la evaluación de la seguridad de químicos, medicamentos y toxinas para reemplazarlos por modelos celulares y computarizados, informaron funcionarios.

Los nuevos métodos, que se adoptarán paulatinamente, son más rápidos y serían más precisos y mucho menos costosos, señalaron los Institutos Nacionales de Salud (NIH por su sigla en inglés) y la Agencia de Protección Ambiental (EPA).

El Instituto Nacional de Ciencias de la Salud Ambiental y el Instituto de Investigación del Genoma Humano, ambos parte de los NIH, indicaron que trabajarán con la EPA para asegurarse, antes de expandir el programa, de que los métodos modernos sean precisos.

Las pruebas en animales han sido el eje de la investigación científica durante décadas, pero el director del Instituto de Investigación del Genoma Humano, el doctor Francis Collins, dijo que no predicen muy bien qué es lo que un químico le puede hacer a las personas.

El antiguo procedimiento "es lento y costoso," indicó Collins a periodistas durante una conferencia telefónica. "Nosotros no somos ratas ni tampoco somos como otros primates," añadió.

La iniciativa está comenzando paulatinamente y se realizarán cruces de información entre los sistemas anteriores y los nuevos.

"No se pueden abandonar las pruebas en animales de la noche a la mañana," señaló el director de los NIH, el doctor Elias Zerhouni.

Por su parte, el doctor Samuel Wilson, jefe del Instituto Nacional de Ciencias de la Salud Ambiental, señaló que los laboratorios automatizados pueden usar los métodos sin animales para analizar 100.000 compuestos en hasta 15 concentraciones en dos días.

"Una persona tendría que trabajar ocho horas por día, los siete días de la semana, durante seis meses para hacer eso. Es mucho, mucho más rápido," expresó Wilson.

En un artículo publicado en la revista Science, NIH y EPA informaron que en un año pueden realizarse entre 10 y 100 pruebas usando roedores vivos, como ratas y ratones.

Los exámenes pueden efectuarse más rápido si se emplean otros animales, como peces o moscas de la fruta.

En cambio, utilizando células especializadas o chips de laboratorio, pueden hacerse más de 10.000 pruebas por día.

(Editada en español por Ana Laura Mitidieri)


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baby rabbit

http://www.animalaid.org.uk/h/n/NEWS/news_experiments/ALL/1737//

Animal Testing: an Historic Breakthrough

Key US government agencies this week have issued the clearest and most authoritative statement to date that animal testing does not work. Under a five-year programme, government laboratories will start moving to non-animal methods such as the use of cells and computer models to test chemicals, drugs and toxins for safety. Such methods are faster, and are likely to be more accurate and far less expensive, officials of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Environmental Protection Agency told a major science conference in Boston. The goal is to eliminate live animal use in toxicity tests in ten years.


Animal Testing: an Historic Breakthrough

Posted 15 February 2008

Key US government agencies this week have issued the clearest and most authoritative statement to date that animal testing does not work. Under a five-year programme, government laboratories will start moving to non-animal methods such as the use of cells and computer models to test chemicals, drugs and toxins for safety. Such methods are faster, and are likely to be more accurate and far less expensive, officials of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Environmental Protection Agency told a major science conference in Boston. The goal is to eliminate live animal use in toxicity tests in ten years. Details of the programme have also been published in the journal, Science.

The development will resonate around the world, not least in Europe where thousands of chemicals are to be subjected to safety testing under the EU programme, known as REACH. Current REACH plans call for millions of animals to be killed. The US announcement will give fresh ammunition to proponents of non-animal methods.

Animal testing has been standard practice for evaluating the safety of chemicals and drugs. But National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) director Dr. Francis Collins told reporters covering the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference that it does not predict very well what a chemical will do to a human being. 'It's slow. It's expensive,' Collins said. 'We are not rats and we are not even other primates … After all, ultimately what you are looking for is, does this compound do damage to cells? Can we, instead of looking at a whole animal, look at cells from different organs?'

The NIH has been carrying out tests using high-speed robots that can screen 200,000 compounds in two days. It would take a researcher using traditional whole-animal tests 12 years working eight hours per day and seven days a week to do the same amount of work.

Dr Christopher Austin, an NIH Director, added: 'Traditional animal testing is expensive, time-consuming, uses a lot of animals and from a scientific perspective the results do not necessarily translate to humans.'

The announcement of the five-year development programme represents an historic breakthrough. It serves as a vindication of the years of campaigning by anti vivisection groups, which have always supported their ethical objection to vivisection by producing evidence that such tests are unreliable and that far better non-animal methods are available and should be embraced.

Despite this week's important announcement, there remains a puzzling commitment to using cells obtained from animals, rather than from people, as a source material to establish safety data. The argument will, therefore, continue to be made that the use of live animals or their tissues, is not only unethical but unscientific.

Says Animal Aid Director, Andrew Tyler:

'This week's announcement marks the beginning of the end of animal testing. The agencies involved are enormously influential within the global scientific community; where they have led, Britain and Europe will follow. The sooner they do so the better. While non-animal methods are cheaper, faster and more reliable they do require an initial capital investment. Given that such tests are a matter of public health and many are compulsory under law, the British government must act now by providing the necessary resources and the political lead for the development of non-animal safety testing. The choice now is to adhere to defunct practices or to embrace a positive future. This is a question of life and death – for animals and for people.'

http://www.hsus.org/press_and_publications/press_releases/the_hsus_praises_federal_cooperation_for_humane_testing_021408.html

The HSUS Praises Federal Agencies' Cooperation in Developing Non-Animal Toxicity Testing Methods
February 14, 2008

The HSUS Believes New Methods Should End Animal Testing within Ten Years

The Humane Society of the United States applauds the National Human Genome Research Institute, the National Toxicology Program, and Environmental Protection Agency for joining together to help develop a new generation of more humane methods for assessing the toxicity of chemicals to which humans are exposed. The Memorandum of Understanding among the three federal entities, announced today, calls for cooperation in developing high-throughput, non-animal methods to rapidly and inexpensively assess thousands of chemicals for their toxicity

"The NHGRI, NTP, and EPA are taking an important step toward implementing the National Research Council vision, which would reduce, if not eliminate, animal suffering by developing more effective, non-animal testing methods," said Dr. Andrew Rowan, HSUS executive vice president. "This project could eliminate the pain and distress of thousands of animals and be seen as a follow-up, with equally visionary possibilities for biology, to the NHGRI's highly successful Human Genome Project. In order for this vision to be fully realized within a decade, what is needed overall is an international government/industry effort funded at approximately two hundred million dollars per year, or approximately four times the current level of effort."

The announcement follows the June 2007 report published by the National Research Council calling for a sustained, well-funded effort to shift the traditional toxicity-testing paradigm away from its heavy reliance on animal testing and towards high-throughput systems that monitor perturbations in toxicity pathways.

For more than 40 years, The HSUS has been advocating a shift away from traditional animal testing towards alternative methods based on a modern understanding of human biology—the essence of the NRC vision. The HSUS' Dr. Martin Stephens served on the committee that wrote the NRC vision. The Humane Society Legislative Fund's Sara Amundson was instrumental in the passage of the 2000 legislation that permanently codified ICCVAM. Stephens, Amundson and Rowan have a combined seventy years of effort towards initiating the paradigm shift, from traditional and unsatisfactory animal toxicology to non-animal testing, that occurs today.

Timeline:

  • In 1959, two scientists in the United Kingdom, at the instigation of Nobel-prize winning immunologist Sir Peter Medawar, published a report calling for the development of alternatives to animal methods.
  • In the early 1960s, The HSUS established a specialist committee on Alternatives to Animal Research and began to urge science to develop and implement such methods.
  • In 1980, The HSUS launched, with animal activist Henry Spira, the Coalition against the Draize Test to highlight the practice of toxicity testing on animals and to call for a change to non-animal methods.
  • In 1993 and 2000, The HSUS was part of a consortium that successfully lobbied for the language that led to the establishment and strengthening of the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods.
  • In 2000 and 2007, laws were passed in California and New Jersey to require the use of alternative test methods, strengthening government and industry's investment in their implementation and use.
  • In 2007, the NRC issued its landmark report, "Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century, A Vision and Strategy." Dr Stephens of the The HSUS is a key member of the NRC panel.  Later in the year, The HSUS launched a website, AltTox, devoted to promoting and implementing non-animal methods of toxicity testing.
  • The HSUS estimates that, worldwide, funding into non-animal alternatives for safety testing is now greater than $50 million a year (compared to around $100,000 a year 25 years ago). 

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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization – backed by 10.5 million Americans, or one of every 30. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty – On the web at <!-- D(["mb","\u003cem\u003ehumanesociety.org\u003c/em\u003e\u003c/a\u003e\u003cem\u003e.\u003c/em\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003c/blockquote\u003e-- \u003cbr\u003eProf. Dr. Núria Querol i Viñas, BSc, MD\u003cbr\u003eFounder of GEVHA\u003cbr\u003eGrupo para el Estudio de la Violencia Hacia Humanos y Animales\u003cbr\u003e\n\u003ca href\u003d\"http://www.gevha.com\" target\u003d\"_blank\" onclick\u003d\"return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)\"\u003ewww.gevha.com\u003c/a\u003e\u003cbr\u003eProfessor at Escola de Prevenció i Seguretat Integral\u003cbr\u003eUniversitat Autònoma de Barcelona\u003cbr\u003e\u003ca href\u003d\"http://www.seguridadintegral.org\" target\u003d\"_blank\" onclick\u003d\"return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)\"\u003ewww.seguridadintegral.org\u003c/a\u003e\n",0] ); D(["ce"]); //-->humanesociety.org.