alternatives

1983 – Polymerase Chain Reaction developed

Since its original development by American biochemist Kary Mullis in 1983, the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) has become one of the most widely used and important technologies in molecular biology.  The ability for researchers to target a specific section of DNA and recreate multiple copies of identical sequences provides an invaluable tool for a variety […]

July 25th, 2014|Timeline, TL_Alternatives|Comments Off

1980 – First Transgenic Mouse

Genetic manipulation is a powerful tool that many researchers employ to study the effects, consequences, and cause of many biologic phenomena.  The ability to alter the genome provides levels of control that are not possible in other research techniques.  However, more often than not, it is scientifically and ethically immoral to carry out such studies […]

October 2nd, 2014|Timeline, TL_Alternatives|Comments Off

1980s – Development of various computer models

The 1980s saw a huge drive towards the use of computer simulation and modelling software to reduce or replace the need for live animals in testing. The capacity for computers to help in diagnosing, imagery, recording, statistical analysis, and simulation provides researchers with a tool to greatly improve the efficiency, speed, and use of animals […]

May 27th, 2014|Timeline, TL_Alternatives|Comments Off

1980s – CR, MRI, and colour Doppler ultrasound imaging developed

Major advancements in medical imagery took place in the 1980s with the advent of Computer Radiology, Medical Resonance Imaging, and Colour Doppler ultrasound. Each technology varies in its conception and applications, yet all would prove pivotal in the movement towards non-invasive techniques for diagnosis, surgery, and drug testing.

May 27th, 2014|Timeline, TL_Alternatives|Comments Off

1978 – Synthetic production of human insulin

Prior to 1978, insulin for human use was purified from animal sources, commonly pigs or dogs. It was the work conducted by researchers at Genentech and City of Hope Medical Research Centre that would provide the progression away from the necessity for animals to produce insulin by successfully synthesising ‘human-insulin’. By editing the DNA of […]

May 27th, 2014|Timeline, TL_Alternatives|Comments Off

1978 – First human stem cells discovered

Stem cell research shifted to humans in 1978 when Dr Gregor Pindull published findings of haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in human cord blood. Previous work had been able to identify similar cells in other mammalian species. This was the first observation of human stem cells that would give rise to similar cells and signalled an […]

May 27th, 2014|Timeline, TL_Alternatives|Comments Off

1977 – First alternatives developed for skin irritants

Prior to 1977, tests for epidermal responses to substances were carried out primarily on animals, which generally produced misleading results. In order to effectively, and safely, investigate reactions in human subjects Griffith and Buehler developed the ‘repeated-insult patch test’. By concentrating and localising samples of the substance to a small, confined grid of 12mm, researchers […]

May 27th, 2014|Timeline, TL_Alternatives|Comments Off

1960 – First use of video to replace live animals in education

In 1960 the University of California produced a seven minute instructional video for students demonstrating the steps of anaphylaxis using a single guinea pig. Although the video depicts the full anaphylactic process, ultimately resulting in fatality, the use of video technology provided the University with the opportunity to save dozens of guinea pigs that would have […]

May 27th, 2014|Timeline, TL_Alternatives|Comments Off

1959 – Russell and Burch publish The Principles

The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique written by W.M.S. Russell and R.L. Burch in 1959 is arguably the most influential moment in alternatives to the use of animals in experimentation history. Although it had little impact when it was first published, the book, and the concepts introduced by Russell and Burch, would prove to be exceptionally important […]

May 27th, 2014|Timeline, TL_Social|Comments Off

1907 – Harrison grows from nerve cells by ‘hanging drop’ technique

The turn of the century witnessed an influx of cell culture in experimentation. However, few of the advancements made were as pivotal as the work conducted by Ross Granville Harrison at Johns Hopkins University in 1907. To this point, in vitro work had become quite good at observing organic tissue microscopically, however, attempts to manipulate […]

May 27th, 2014|Timeline, TL_Alternatives|Comments Off