Animal experimentation: are we allowed to do that? In this thematic portal, researchers of the Swiss Laboratory Animal Science Association give answers to frequently asked questions.

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Are non-animal methods more reliable and transferable?

Image: O. Cafiero

No, because in cell or tissue cultures only partial aspects of drug effects or a disease process can be studied. A single alternative method cannot replace all animal experiments and does not allow a more reliable transfer to humans. Some good cell or tissue cultures methods have been able to replace animal experiments in certain fields and/or at certain stages. However, caution is required: a test examining the effect of a substance on cancer cells in cell cultures, for example, does not allow to make an accurate statement about the effect of this substance in the body. For this reason, studies on animals are often necessary following the cell culture experiment.