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10 definitions to better understand animal research

10 definitions to better understand animal research

 1)   The 3Rs principle is a rule in animal experimentation that seeks to reduce the number of animals used, refine or reduce as much as possible any type of pain or suffering, and replace animal models when feasible. The regulations require the systematic practice of this principle.  2)   An animal facility is designed to accommodate laboratory animals; it must comply with strict regulations in order to ensure the origin, the traceability and the good health of the animals. Moreover, all breeders, suppliers or practitioners of animal research must possess proper licenses.  3)   The preclinical phase is a key stage in the development of new drugs. Preclinical studies help understand how a drug works and test its efficiency and toxicity on animals and cells in vitro before moving onto to clinical trials in humans.   4)   The expression in silico refers to research carried out using computer models and simulations.  5)   In vitro tests are carried out on an artificial medium in a laboratory. For example: tests on human cell cultures.  6)   The Latin term in vivo includes all tests on living organisms, as opposed to in vitro or in silico.  7)   An alternative method is an experimental process that puts into practice the 3Rs principle and thus replaces, reduces and refines the use of animals. How? Through non-invasive techniques such as MRI scans or in vitro screening upstream of animal tests.  8)   A replacement method is one of the alternative methods. This is an experimental approach that completely removes the use of laboratory animals. It is always difficult to finalise and takes time to develop.  9)   The One Health concept was created in response to the increasing number of health crises from animal origin, coupled with the limitations of conventional approaches when it comes to infectious diseases. It intends to strengthen the links between human health, animal health and environmental management. 10) Zoonoses are animal diseases that are transmissible to humans and vice-versa. For example: Rabies, Avian Flu, Lyme disease or Tuberculosis.  For more information: see our interviews of experts in animal research. Click here to download the fact sheet in PDF format.