SEARCHBreast First Entry in Effort to Lessen Reliance on Animals in Research

SEARCHBreast First Entry in Effort to Lessen Reliance on Animals in Research
As a necessary part of the scientific process, animals are often used in studies of disease causes and their potential treatment. But efforts — beginning with breast cancer studies — are being made to progressively reduce the reliance on animals in biomedical research. Scientists in the U.K., in a recent commentary, describe a framework for making "surplus" material derived from animal studies more visible and accessible to the scientific community, to promote the sharing of these resources as an alternative to producing new models. The initiative aims to reduce the number of animals used in research. The commentary, “The Sharing Experimental Animal Resources, Coordinating Holdings (SEARCH) Framework: Encouraging Reduction, Replacement, and Refinement in Animal Research,” was published in PLOS Biology. The framework is called SEARCH (Sharing Experimental Animal Resources, Coordinating Holdings). A prototype, SEARCHBreast, was developed with funding from the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs), and is run by the University of Leeds together with the Barts Cancer Institute, the University of Sheffield, and the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute. A web-based platform, SEARCHBreast lists mouse model tissues archived from breast cancer studies and redistributes them without charge to researchers. "We know that several animals are needed to produce reliable results. But in general only a fraction of each tissue sample is required to perfor
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