By Deeksh

Scientists have been using animals for testing since years. It is estimated that 50 to 100 million vertebrate animals worldwide — from fish to non-human primates — are used annually.

Using animals in these testing is highly controversial.

Though, the U.S. and British governments both support the advancement of medical and scientific goals using animal testing, provided that the testing minimizes animal use and suffering.

Animals are used in testing personal goods such as shampoos to some highly toxic chemicals.

Is there any alternative?

YES it is – says Christopher Austin, Director, Chemical Genomics Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.

Mr. Austin says that, in future, robots might replace animal testing in screening for environmental toxins.

He believes that over the course of the next five to ten years that this (using robots) approach will refine, reduce, and ultimately replace the number of animals that are used in toxicology testing.

The process is slow, it’s expensive, it is not necessarily predicative of human toxicity, and it’s become increasingly discouraged by the public, said Mr. Austin.

According to Mr. Austin, the new method grows cells on small trays. Each tray may have over 1,500 different chambers, each chamber holding just a few cells to be tested. Robots working 24/7 quickly handle and process the information, which translates to whether a chemical might be harmful to a human being.

Mr. Austin said the new process works, and should be widely used in the next few years. That’s good news for those who feel for the plightof animals that undergo testing.

It’s really noble idea to develop new testing methods to replace these animals.

Yes – rabbits, mice and rats are cheap and readily replaceable, but that doesn’t mean we have ‘rights’ to divest their rights to live on this planet.

I, personally think that, robots may not represent the exact real reactions to these tests, we might still depend on these animals for few more decades, and it’s good to know that scientists are working on the right track – AI.

But how long this abuse on animals in the name of ‘research’ continues…

Did you know:

Types of vertebrates used in animal testing in Europe in 2005: a total of 12.1 million animals were used.