Archive by category | Animal experiments

The US needs a stronger position on live-animal research

One of the Editorials in last week’s issue of Nature (457, 636; 2009, free to access online) calls for vigorous pursuit and prosecution of “activists” who break the law, often violently, in their personal stances against the use of animals in experimental research. According to the Editorial, “US federal, state and university authorities need to go beyond enforcement and take an unequivocal, public stand that emphasizes the importance of animal research for drug testing and basic science — as did former UK prime minister Tony Blair. It would be especially helpful if President Barack Obama were to make such a statement.”  … Read more

Direct control of paralysed muscles by cortical neurons

The activation of a single neuron in the brain may be enough to help restore muscle activity in the arms of paralysed patients with spinal cord injuries. Chet T. Moritz, Steve I. Perlmutter and Eberhard E. Fetz report their research in Nature (doi:10.1038/nature07418) showing that a potential treatment for paralysis resulting from spinal cord injury is to route control signals from the brain around the injury by artificial connections. These results are the first demonstration that direct artificial connections between cortical cells and muscles can compensate for interrupted physiological pathways and restore volitional control of movement to paralysed limbs.  Read more

Researchers need to explain why they use animals

The editorial in this month’s Nature Immunology describes how some scientists are working proactively to prevent the harassment and harm of researchers who work on non-human animals. A letter in last week’s Correspondence section of Nature (452, 934; 2008) suggests that more researchers need to take on this task. The text of the Correspondence:  … Read more

Animal research essential until alternatives are found

The Editorial in this month’s (May) issue of Nature Immunology (9, 445; 2008) describes how academics are responding to escalating violence by extremist animal-rights groups by working proactively to prevent the harassment and harm of scientists. Some of these violent incidents, and the scientific community’s reactions, have been previously discussed at Nautilus.  Read more

Keeping protests within the law

December’s editorial in Nature Neuroscience (10, 1501; 2007) describes how law-enforcement agencies in the United Kingdom are acting before trouble develops to protect researchers from threats and harassment by animal rights extremists. Other countries should consider adopting similar policies and tactics.  Read more