Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Robots Could Replace Adorable Animals in Toxicity Tests
Well, sometimes we talk about the environmental benefits of digitizing physical media...but today we're going to talk about the environmental benefits of digitizing physical bunnies.
According to the BBC, scientists are working on ways to replace live animal testing of everything from cosmetics to pesticides with "high speed, automated robots" and "live cells grown in a laboratory."
Samples of chemicals will be dropped onto dishes containing human or animal cells grown in the laboratory.
These will then be studied for signs of toxicity using a variety of biochemical and genetic tests.
The ultimate goal is to develop non-animal based testing methods that are rigorous enough to be submitted for regulatory approval.
Sounds preferable to the traditional systems. Of course, it wouldn't be a full approximation of the marvelous beauty and intricate systems of a real-live cute little bunny rabbit. So for pharmaceutical and broader carcinogen and system-wide effects, I'm afraid they'd still go under the knife.
Nevertheless, this would certainly be a step in the right direction.