Acute refers to an event, process, or cause that does not persist, and is limited in its exposure. On the other hand, chronic concerns those that do persist for an extended period, and can be defined based on its characteristics.
Series of stages in a biological process or mechanism in which potential undesired products or reactions may occur that are pertinent to risk assessment and safety testing.
The pursuit and use of experimental methods that refrain from and/or replace the use of animals as test subjects. Procedures that can replace the need for animal experiments, reduce the number of animals required, or diminish the amount of pain or distress suffered by animals necessarily used. (See Three Rs)
Substances that relieve pain (e.g. paracetamol)
Any in vivo or in vitro research conducted on non-human animals or their cells and/or tissues.
Referring to any procedure or experiment where, from start to finish, no whole animals, cells, or samples have been used in the methodology -using strictly humans or alternatives means.
Animals used in experiments to represent either humans or other animals (e.g. rats with high blood pressure may be used to try to learn more about the condition in humans).
Use in tests or experiments of animals that are protected by law.
Describes cell culture media that is generated using no animal by-products.
Specified how and where animals can be used for scientific research and testing, and also required that scientists using animals provided yearly reports for the British Government. Replaced by European Directive 2010/63/EU in 2010. See more on Legislation page.
Specialised proteins produced by white blood cells in response to the introduction of a ‘foreign’ substance (antigen) into the body. The antibodies have the ability to recognise specific antigens and to bind to them very tightly.
The process of self-induced cell death within the body. This ensures that old cells are replaced by newer, more efficient ones.
Laboratory technique used to measure the functional amount or activity of a given target (the analyte). The measurements of particular properties of the analyte are standardly obtained using relevant units, and can also involve the presence or addition of exogenous reagents that can impact the analyte’s functionality.
A missile, bomb, or other device that delivers harmful biological agents such as bacteria or viruses.
Production of light by a living organism using chemical reactions generated within its cells. Well known examples include fire flies and many deep-sea species such as the anglerfish.
Device that recreates or simulates the biological environment for which natural or chemical processes can be measured under controlled conditions.
An irreversible end of the integrated functioning of the entire brain.
Any substance or agent that has been determined directly to cause cancer. For more information on carcinogens, and a list of known human carcinogens visit the American Cancer Society website.
Growth and maintenance of cells, either of a single type or multiple, under controlled conditions outside of a living organism.
Part of the nucleus of a cell that carries the genes.
The signs of a disease that a doctor, vet or scientist can see.
Genetically identical cell, organ or organism produced by asexual reproduction. (Such as plant cuttings.)
The process of producing large numbers of genetically identical cells from a single cell. All of the cells of a clone produce exactly the same antibody.
As defined in EU Directive 93/35/EEC, a cosmetic product is: ‘any substance or mixture intended to be placed in contact with the various external parts of the human body (epidermis, hair system, nails, lips and external genital organs) or with the teeth and the mucous membranes of the oral cavity with a view exclusively or mainly to cleaning them, perfuming them, changing their appearance, and/or correcting body odours and/or protecting them, or keeping them in good condition.’
Molecules that cause effects both locally and throughout the body.
Measures the relative level of toxicity an agent presents to living cells.
(deoxyribonucleic acid) – Large molecule that acts as the hereditary material by carrying information coding for all the characteristics and functions of an organism.
Process of bringing a new pharmaceutical drug to the market, including regulated and sufficient pre-clinical and clinical trials.
How effectively a substance produces the desired result.
Investigations to discover something new or prove an idea
Devising an order and method of working for an experiment.
A portion of DNA that occupies a particular position on a chromosome and helps determine an organism’s characteristics.
Changing animals, by inserting, mutating or deleting genes or parts of chromosomes.
The genetic make-up of an organism. A group of organisms with the same genetic constitution.
The process by which information from a gene is used in the organism.
Showing concern for animal well-being.
Complex system involving protective cells, tissues and organs in the body, which specifically recognise and destroy foreign organisms which otherwise could cause harm.
Antibody-based methods that allow the measurement of very small quantities of substances, such as cytokines or hormones, in blood samples.
Having an impaired immune system and therefore incapable of an effective immune response. This is often caused by disease.
Genetically similar animals, produced as a result of the repeated mating of closely related animals. (See Outbred strain)
Substances that are used to make a finished product.
Experiments or predictions carried out using a computer. (See in vivo, in vitro)
‘In glass’ experiments carried out outside the body of an animal, in for example a test tube or culture dish. In vitro research is generally referred to as the manipulation of organs, tissues, cells, and biomolecules in a controlled, artificial environment. (See in vivo, in silico)
The characterisation and analysis of biomolecules and biological systems using intact organisms. (See in vitro, in silico)
An immunological response to a defined stimulus. This can either be an allergen or chemical, causing localised pain and/or discomfort. Symptoms can be acute or chronic, and are frequently studied in eyes and on skin.
Magnetoencephalography: brain imaging technique which detects signals given out by the brain when a person is awake and records them as an image on a computer.
Combining independent studies on a related topic to extend the overall body of knowledge, increasing the ability to pick out both weaknesses and strengths that would not be visible by observing each study individually.
Chemical and physical processes within the body that alter a chemical.
The field of using microscopes to view objects at higher magnitudes, most commonly those that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Varying technological advancements have improved the capacity to increase magnification levels, as well as the layers within an object that can become visible.
Process by which a stable mutation is induced in the genome of an organism.
General term for the death of tissue cells from injury, chemicals, or radiation.
Species of primates (excluding humans) that fall under particular levels of protection when involved in medical testing. This includes macaques, baboons, and tamarins.
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development – an international consortium of 34 countries committed to encouraging international trade. One component of the agreement is to unify and standardise chemical safety assessments and characterisation.
Cell cultures that are maintained on a natural or synthetic scaffold providing a space where the cells can provide organ-specific functionality in 2D or 3D, while being perfused with media, and potentially connected to other organ model systems.
Genetically nonidentical animals, produced by breeding at random or selecting parents that are not closely related. (See inbred strain)
A progressive nervous disease occurring most often after the age of 50, linked with the destruction of brain cells that produce dopamine. Symptoms include muscular tremor, slow movement, partial facial paralysis, strange posture and weakness.
Pertains to the development, production, and sale of drugs or medicine.
A phenotype is any visable physical trait of an organism. A genotype is the underlying genetic composition, its genome.
See under ‘stem cells’.
Literally “after death”. An examination of a dead body to discover the cause of death.
Measure of a pharmacological agent’s relative activity in terms of the volume required to produce a desired response.
Aims to limit or remove the need for in vivo or in vitro testing in toxicological studies by using and expanding on previously conducted studies and combing them with pre-existing knowledge of pathways and systems.
A test or experiment.
Vertebrates (i.e. animals with backbones), other than humans, from half way through their development in the womb (mammals) or egg (birds and reptiles), or when they are able to feed by themselves (amphibians and fish)
Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship. A means to analyse and quantitatively measure the relative correlation between a biological or chemical molecule’s activity and its structure.
Qualitative analysis involves a description, without any numerical or statistical attribution, providing information regarding the perceived value (e.g. a rich, foamy latte); whereas a quantitative analysis involves the use of numerical data as a description (e.g. 300mL of latte at 800C)
Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of CHemicals- a European Regulation aimed to control and monitor the use and trade of chemicals (applicable to manufacturers, importers, and retailers), while promoting alternative methods for hazardous assessments.
Techniques that enable researchers to use fewer animals in their experiments while gaining at least as much information.
Refinement techniques reduce the amount of pain and distress caused to laboratory animals to an absolute minimum.
Replacement alternatives can be defined as methods, strategies and techniques, such as cell culture, that do not require live animals.
An organism’s relative reaction to a particular concentration of a compound, drug, or protein.
Able to feel pain and suffer.
Undifferentiated cells that have yet to become one type of cell over another. Totipotent cells can become any cell type in the body. Others have different constrictions (pluripotent – most cell types, unipotent – only one cell type), depending on their source and location. Stem cells are essential in the developmental stages of early life, as well as for recovery from disease, and can remain inactive for long periods of time before dividing into their determined cell type.
Reduction, Refinement and Replacement, as alternatives to the conventional use of animals in laboratory-based research.
An organised collection of similar cells.
The process of growing tissues or organs outside of the body from precursor cells and a cellular scaffolding with the intention of re-introducing them back into the donor.
See under ‘stem cells’.
Level of poisonousness; potential to cause harm
The study of poisons and their effects.
Research conducted where the aim is to apply the findings in a non-human model to humans in order to ultimately improve well-being. The process of translation relies on previous findings, as well as prediction models, to justify why the translation between subjects can be justified and made with confidence.
Taking tissue or a whole organ, such as a kidney, from a donor individual and surgically introducing it into the body of a patient to replace a defective tissue or organ.
In an experimental context, treatment refers to the individual or group influenced by a particular variable or condition to be studied.
See under ‘stem cells’.
Compound used to deliver acquired immunity into a biological system targeted at a particular disease.
The process, and the ultimate goal, in drug development ensuring that the product meets all safety and legislative requirements, permitting it to be sold to the public.
From the Latin words for ‘cutting’ and ‘alive’, vivisection involves any surgical operations conducted on living organisms for the purpose of gaining knowledge of internal anatomy or processes.(cf Animal experimentation)
Transplanting organs from one species into another.