UK Regulations: How do you get a licence to carry out animal research?

There are three levels of licensing required before a procedure can take place in the UK. The project, the individual and the institution must all have licenses from the Home Office. This post aims to discuss the process of getting a personal licence in the UK and is written by Peter Wright a PhD student … Continue reading UK Regulations: How do you get a licence to carry out animal research?

From Macaques to Humans: UK regulator gives cautious thumbs up to advanced IVF techniques to prevent mitochondrial disease

Yesterday the UK's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) advised the government that there is no evidence the two advanced forms of IVF developed to prevent mitochondrial diseases are unsafe, recommending that research using human embryos should continue, with close monitoring of the  health of children born through these two techniques, which are known as maternal spindle transfer and pronuclear transfer. At the … Continue reading From Macaques to Humans: UK regulator gives cautious thumbs up to advanced IVF techniques to prevent mitochondrial disease

Liver transplant breakthrough set to save thousands of lives: Thank the pigs!

On Friday the BBC reported that Ian Christie, a man who developed cirrhosis of the liver after being infected with hepatitis C during a blood transfusion 25 years ago, had become the first person in the world to receive a transplanted liver that had been preserved at room temperature rather than being cooled after being … Continue reading Liver transplant breakthrough set to save thousands of lives: Thank the pigs!

A Public Conversation on Animal Ethics: The good, the bad, and the ugly

The UW-Madison recently hosted a conversation on the ethics of animal research between Rick Marolt, an opponent of animal research, and Robert Streiffer, a bioethicist at the university and member of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). Here are some of my thoughts on this interesting exchange. The good: Above all, it is good … Continue reading A Public Conversation on Animal Ethics: The good, the bad, and the ugly

Brain Awareness Week: The Role of Animals in Neuroscience

If you're a regular reader of the Speaking of Research science blog you will know that we are very interested in neuroscience - in fact several of us are neuroscientists - so you won't be surprised to learn that we have been following events during Brain Awareness Week (#brainweek on twitter).  Brain Awareness Week is a … Continue reading Brain Awareness Week: The Role of Animals in Neuroscience

Essay on Animal Testing? Look No Further

Students writing essays on animal research can now celebrate. Understanding Animal Research, a UK not-for-profit which explains the role of animals in medical research, has produced a fantastic set of resources aimed at helping school and university students create well-referenced essays. The resources provides an introduction to five animal research-related topics including "costs and benefits" … Continue reading Essay on Animal Testing? Look No Further

Are scientists sadists?

Scientists working with animals are often accused by animal rights activists of being ‘monsters’, ‘murderers’, ‘sadists’ and worse.  On the other side, animal rights leaders see themselves standing on a moral pedestal above the rest of the population, while simultaneously inciting to violence against fellow human beings they have never met.  The contradiction is lost … Continue reading Are scientists sadists?