20 de Setembro de 2021


EARA News Digest 2021 - Week 38

Welcome to your Monday morning update, from EARA, on the latest news in biomedical science, policy and openness on animal research. 

EU Parliament vote threatens future of biomedical research in Europe

Last week the European Parliament adopted a motion by 667 votes to 4, on a plan ‘to accelerate the transition to innovation without the use of animals’.
While MEPs recognised the important role that animal research still plays in the development of drugs and treatments for both humans and animals, including research into Covid-19, the vote includes a proposed action plan, with ‘reduction targets’ and timelines.
Although the vote is only advisory, EARA has voiced its grave concerns about the potential implications for the biomedical community in Europe if the European Commission acted on it. Read the full EARA statement.
EARA executive director, Kirk Leech, said: “At this potentially historic juncture it is important for the research sector to assess the risks to medical and scientific research in Europe, and what we can do collectively to halt this politically inspired attempt to end the use of animals in biomedical research in the EU.” 
One of EARA’s main concerns is that MEPs have been misled by activist groups into believing that non-animal methods of biomedical research can be universally applied to provide the safety, efficacy and insights that are currently gained from animal models.

"The reality is that the usefulness of some non-animal methods is limited and do not serve as suitable alternatives for huge areas of research and development," added Kirk.
In a further illustration of this, a Twitter thread by EARA last week highlighted the continued misinformation by activists who claim that animal tests were skipped during research on Covid-19 – see also fact-checking by leading news organisations.



EARA interviews podcaster for BRAD 2021

To mark this week’s Biomedical Research Awareness Day (#brad2021), EARA has interviewed Jeff Marshall, co-host of the Lab Rat Chat podcast.
The YouTube broadcast is the latest in EARA’s #LetsTalkSciComm series and Jeff told us about the thinking behind the podcast, which is supported by Americans for Medical Progress.
He explained why podcasts make a good platform to talk about this issues surrounding animal research and shared his top tips for getting into science communication.
Jeff stressed the importance of keeping going with your project, even when it feels as though your impact is not being felt.
“Just keep sharing on social media, people are seeing it and someone is learning from it – just don’t stop”, he concluded.
You can subscribe to #LetsTalkSciComm on this link.



Fighting cancer with Covid-19 vaccine technology

Recent studies have shown that vaccine technology used for Covid-19 has been effective in halting the growth of cancerous tumours in mice. 

In collaboration with EARA member, Sanofi, Covid vaccine developer, BioNTech, Germany, has created a cocktail of messenger RNA (mRNA) - genetic material that instruct cells to produce molecules to fight colon and skin cancer.  

The findings, in Science Translational Medicine, showed that in mice injected with the mRNA material, the treatment halted tumour growth, and even caused them to shrink.  

This mRNA technology can be administered directly into the tumour in order to alter the environment around it, and enhance the immune system’s ability to recognise and fight cancer.  

The therapy - called SAR441000 (BNT131) - is now in human clinical trials.



EARA’s global day in science magazine  

EARA’s global campaign to encourage openness about animal research Get on #BOARD21 has been featured this month in Laboratory Animal Science Professional.  

The article Get on BOARD 2021 – Opening the Conversation about Research (on page 61), spoke with EARA co-ordinator Ana Barros, who highlighted the communications activities by the scientific community that took place across the world on 1 July this year. 

“English is the international language of science, but we want the public to understand why we use animals in research, which is why we used different languages,” said Ana. 

A longer version of the article is available on LinkedIn.  

#BOARD22 will take place during the Federation of European Laboratory Animal Science Associations Congress which will be held in Marseilles, 13-16 June 2022. 

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