Ethics of animal research in human disease remediation, its institutional teaching; and alternatives to animal experimentation
Cheluvappa, R and Scowen, P and Eri, R, Ethics of animal research in human disease remediation, its institutional teaching; and alternatives to animal experimentation, Pharmacology Research and Perspectives, 5, (4) pp. 1-14. ISSN 2052-1707 (2017) [Refereed Article]
Animals have been used in research and teaching for a long time. However, clear ethical guidelines and pertinent legislation were instated only in the past few decades, even in developed countries with Judeo-Christian ethical roots. We compactly cover the basics of animal research ethics, ethical reviewing and compliance guidelines for animal experimentation across the developed world, "our" fundamentals of institutional animal research ethics teaching, and emerging alternatives to animal research. This treatise was meticulously constructed for scientists interested/involved in animal research. Herein, we discuss key animal ethics principles - Replacement/Reduction/Refinement. Despite similar undergirding principles across developed countries, ethical reviewing and compliance guidelines for animal experimentation vary. The chronology and evolution of mandatory institutional ethical reviewing of animal experimentation (in its pioneering nations) are summarised. This is followed by a concise rendition of the fundamentals of teaching animal research ethics in institutions. With the advent of newer methodologies in human cell-culturing, novel/emerging methods aim to minimise, if not avoid the usage of animals in experimentation. Relevant to this, we discuss key extant/emerging alternatives to animal use in research; including organs on chips, human-derived three-dimensional tissue models, human blood derivates, microdosing, and computer modelling of various hues.