Research: New Cruelty Free Mice Brain Testing Option Found

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On November 8, reported that a University of Exeter graduate had recently discovered a cruelty free method for creating cells similar to human brain neurons for use in scientific research, effectively making tests on mice brains unnecessary, saving animal lives and removing ethical issues from research projects.

Excerpts from the story:

“Emily Rose-Martin made her discovery while participating in the 2022 Animal Free Research UK Summer Studentship Programme. The course gives newly qualified scientists the opportunity to consider the importance of non-animal testing methods in the treatment of human diseases. Rose-Martin pinpointed a way to create cells that are more similar to human brain neurons than rodent ones. Her research has been published in the pharmacy journal Frontiers in Pharmacology.

“Looking specifically at the cells that are affected by common conditions, including autism, Rose-Martin was focused on glutamatergic neurons. These are regarded as extra-special brain cells, capable of boosting the effectiveness of other neurons and having a major impact on our ability to communicate and carry out everyday functions. Previously, neuroscientists struggled to progress their brain disorder research. This was due to an inability to convert human brain cells into valuable glutamatergic variations. Rose-Martin has discovered a way to do exactly this, without the use of any animal-derived components.

“Lead researcher Professor Asami Oguro-Ando considers the breakthrough to be significant. It could mark a potential bridge to faster and more cost-effective development of brain disorder treatments. ‘This model is also highly cost-effective, allowing scientists to generate large numbers of neuronal cells that can be used to test the safety of drugs or new treatments on neurons in pharmacological toxicity studies.’

“Aside from the ethical issues, research is increasingly highlighting the validity of animal tests. According to Cruelty Free International, 92% of drugs deemed safe in animal tests fail in human trials. Because of this, animal rights campaigners and consumers are demanding that alternative testing methods be introduced. Rose-Martin’s neuron breakthrough has the potential to save countless rodent lives by making a humane testing standard the default option.” (Amy Buxton,

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