Alzheimer’s researchers win world’s top brain research prize

The one million Euro Brain Prize, awarded by the Lundbeck Foundation in Denmark has been announced. Last year's winners, received the prize for their work understanding the mechanisms of reward in the brain. This year, the prize has gone to four neuroscientists for their groundbreaking research on the genetic and molecular basis of Alzheimer’s disease. … Continue reading Alzheimer’s researchers win world’s top brain research prize

Diversity may improve the reproducibility of pre-clinical animal research

Reproducibility – or the ability to obtain similar experimental results across replicate studies – in pre-clinical research is essential to the success of clinical trials. While this topic has garnered much attention in popular press, it is one that is sometimes not well understood and, other times, misrepresented to mean that all science is in … Continue reading Diversity may improve the reproducibility of pre-clinical animal research

FDA announcement regarding termination of primate study leaves many questions unanswered

On Friday, January 26, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—the agency charged with protecting public health via oversight of food, drugs, and medical devices—issued a statement about its decision to terminate a nicotine research project at the National Center for Toxicology Research (NCTR). The research had been the focus of campaign by an anti-animal … Continue reading FDA announcement regarding termination of primate study leaves many questions unanswered

The Curious Case of Catheter Removals at the FDA

The FDA Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, made a statement last week that claimed animal welfare concerns had led to his agency’s decision to end a primate research project aimed at better understanding nicotine addiction in adolescents. However, details revealed in the project documents that were also released by the agency last week raise doubts about the … Continue reading The Curious Case of Catheter Removals at the FDA

Does size matter? Evaluating the space requirements for laboratory mice.

Mice are the most commonly used laboratory animal – comprising approximately 70% of all animals used for research. Despite their widespread use, surprisingly little is known about how the behavioural biology of mice relates to the social and physical conditions of the laboratory environment. A team of researchers, from the Division of Animal Welfare at … Continue reading Does size matter? Evaluating the space requirements for laboratory mice.

The difference between pain and suffering

I find it surprising how often the words pain and suffering are used interchangeably, as it often happens when discussing issues of animal welfare. The concept of suffering has profound implications when applied to both humans and animals, so we should examine carefully what it entails philosophically and scientifically. Let’s consider pain first. When studying … Continue reading The difference between pain and suffering

Is the FDA undermining its own study and the experts it sent to review it?

The American Psychological Association has warned that the FDA may be winding down its own primate study, despite having started-- but not completed, nor made public-- an independent FDA review process. Why the FDA would stop the study before any report has been published will lead many into further questioning the influence that certain animal … Continue reading Is the FDA undermining its own study and the experts it sent to review it?