Following last month's post, We want new medicines but at what cost?, I thought we should follow up with an expert view on life for patients suffering from rare and genetic diseases.
We caught up with Nick Meade, from the Genetic Alliance UK, while he was in Brussels. We asked Nick why expensive research is carried out to develop cures for rare diseases affecting only a very small proportion of society.
Animal Testing Perspectives is a platform for open debate on the use of animals in biomedical research and testing. To get an clear picture of the opponents to animal testing, I asked a journalist to take a look at their arguments.
The public is uneasy about animal testing yet research advocates shun the spotlight
Animal research has been back in the news again as controversy rages over major European laws which have been recently revamped by Brussels.
From all sides of the animals testing and research debate, everyone agrees that animals are sentient beings and this has been recognized in the Treaty of Amsterdam. Sentiency is the ability to feel, perceive or be conscious, or to have subjective experiences. In relation to animals, sentience implies the ability to experience pleasure or suffering.
During an interview session with brain researcher Peter Janssen, who uses macaque monkeys to understand depth perception, I asked him what it was like to perform experiments on non human primates who I would imagine have a higher level of consciousness than other animals.
Given my interest in issues around animal testing, these timely reminders of the burden of disease got me thinking about the contribution that research has made to human health.
It won’t be long now until the annual European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing (EPAA) conference which takes place on 9 November here in Brussels.
The EPAA is an independent platform which brings together the European Commission and industry groups to collaborate on implementing the 3 Rs Declaration. It has been running since 2005 and has done a lot to bring together people who don’t talk as much as they should – like companies and regulators, or scientists and EU officials.
This week sees the start of World Retina Week from 19 – 24 September. Campaigns are being launched across the globe to raise awareness of retina-related diseases causing blinding and the need for more research funding.
For our debut video interview, Animal Testing Perspectives (ATP) was very lucky to talk to Neil Parish MP and former rapporteur of the legislation protecting animals used for research in Europe.
It was clear when talking with Neil about his experience during the first reading that it was a challenging time for him. Each person faces their own personal dilemma about animal research and for Neil it was between his natural love of animals, as a farmer and dog owner, with the desire for legislation that allows medical advancement for humans.
The cameraman and I were pretty surprised when Professor Peter Janssen greeted us at Leuven university hospital reception. We were expecting someone… well we weren’t expecting Peter. On one hand he’s a relaxed straight-talking family man, on the other he has already published a long list of neurological research alongside some heavy-duty medical qualifications and awards.
Neil Parish MP talks through the tough policy choices during the revision of the lab animal legislation
We recently interviewed Neil Parish MP, the first reading rapporteur for the revision of law protecting lab animals. In our first video, Neil expressed the challenges he faced during this review to find the right balance between helping science advance, while protecting animals as much as possible.
For several years Simon Festing of Understanding Animal Research (UAR) has had the difficult job of talking about the benefits of using animals in research. During this time he has witnessed some of the most concentrated and violent animal rights protests towards individuals and research centres in the UK.
57,000 people across The Netherlands have signed a partition to ban research and testing on cats and dogs. It would be interesting to know how many of these citizens were also loving pet owners? It’s an important question because over the past decade, the market for medical healthcare for pets has grown dramatically in comparison to healthcare for humans.
There has been some buzz online recently at the new funding raising strategy of the British Heart Foundation. As it attempts to raise an ambitious 50m pounds to fund groundbreaking heart research, it is openly showing the need for animal research and testing in its promotional campaign.
What’s in a name? Well quite a lot it seems. Whether you came to this site looking for information about animal testing, animal research, vivisection or experimentation, the language you use defines your political and emotional views, your level of knowledge on the subject and potentially reveals your nationality.