Through its own laboratory and desk-based research FRAME is continually investigating and developing new methods at the forefront of science. It also collaborates with other organisations and laboratory scientists across a wide range of biological and medical fields.
FRAME has more than 45 years of experience in desk-based and laboratory research and has developed a number of non-animal tests that are now industry standard. It also has links with scientists across the world in academia and industry that it can call on to share knowledge and expertise.
Many projects are carried out at the FRAME laboratory that increase knowledge in a wide range of biological and medical fields. FRAME also collaborates with other organisations, medics and scientists world-wide to enhance the benefits obtained from research and raise its potential.
Desk-based projects and literature reviews are carried out by FRAME scientists, or in association with other groups, to monitor and report on the latest developments in non-animal science, and to identify trends in medical and scientific research around the world.
Technical and practical advice
FRAME can offer companies support and advice when developing new products to ensure that the latest and most innovative techniques are being used, and to safeguard against wasting resources on ineffective research and unreliable systems.
FRAME does not operate a contract research laboratory, but works with industry to form mutually helpful collaborations that benefit the partner at the same time as promoting non-animal methods.
For more than 45 years FRAME has promoted a pragmatic but ethical approach to the use of animals in laboratories. Its ultimate aim is the elimination of the need to use them in any kind of medical or scientific procedure, but where it is currently necessary FRAME supports the use of the Three Rs (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement) to minimise any suffering caused.
When scientists carry out experiments it is vitally important they are well designed, otherwise they may waste resources or give the wrong answers. This is especially serious if animals are used. FRAME arranges training schools in Experimental Design and Statistical Analysis to help new, young scientists avoid potential pitfalls.
Laws governing product labelling can be particularly stringent in relation to how it was made and what it contains. FRAME can offer advice on ensuring accuracy and transparency, and meeting the relevant regulations.
Connections and influence
FRAME was instrumental in setting up the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Animals in Medical Experiments and advises its members. It was also one of the driving forces behind the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, which forms the basis of current legislation as amended by EU law.
Researchers at the FRAME Alternatives Laboratory work closely with surgeons at a nearby hospital to investigate human diseases. They use ethically-gathered, human tissues, obtained with informed consent, to ensure their work is more directly relevant to the conditions being studied.
FRAME’s determination to base its aims on science, rather than opinion means that it is respected by similar researchers and organisations. It is therefore able to collaborate with those who are working at the forefront of non-animal research and maintain vital links across many fields of scientific and medical experimentation.
Through its two scientific publications, ATLA (Alternatives to Laboratory Animals), a peer-reviewed journal, and PiLAS (Perspectives in Laboratory Animal Science), a less formal, discussion-based magazine, FRAME disseminates the latest information on developments in alternative methods. It also publishes occasional special reports following completion of collaborative research projects.
A programme of press releases, social media interactions and public announcements is helping to raise FRAME’s profile, not only within the scientific community, but also among the general public. FRAME also remains visible within the research community by attending meetings and conferences and arranging its own events such as lectures and symposia.
An active media plan has secured links to print and broadcast media in countries all over the world. In particular FRAME has featured in a number of TV programmes in South America as well as appearing in online publications in Eastern Europe and Scandinavia.
FRAME is recognised around the world and is the main source of information and advice in many countries where product testing methods still lag behind the West.
Some companies choose to use the FRAME logo on their products as a sign that they support the charity and its work. Recent changes in EU legislation have devalued many of the ‘cruelty free’ marks, but the FRAME logo signifies a company’s dedication to supporting better research in all areas of science and medicine, not just cosmetics.