Stem cells grown from human skin used to study fatty liver disease

Fatty liver disease affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide, but studying animals in the lab does not allow us to fully understand this uniquely human disease. Could using stem cells grown from human skin lead to better treatments? A team of innovative researchers at Vrije Universiteit in Brussels – led by Dr. Robim Rodriguez and Professor Tamara Vanhaecke – aims to find out.

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Move over monkeys: Understanding viral infections without using animals

Mosquito-borne viruses such as Zika and dengue are often studied using monkeys, mice and other animals, even though vaccines shown to protect monkeys from infection often don’t work in people. But is using animals really the most effective way to unlock the secrets to successfully preventing, treating—and even curing—these viral diseases? Find out what Dr. David Pamies at the University of Lausanne (formerly of the Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing)—along with his colleagues at Johns Hopkins University and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ Vaccines Research Center in the U.S.—are doing to upend the status quo. Learn more »

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Early-career scientists awarded HTPC travel grants to attend JRC summer school on non-animal approaches

We are thrilled to announce financial support enabling three promising early career researchers to attend the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) Summer School May 21-24 in Ispra, Italy, a week-long learning opportunity dedicated to non-animal approaches. These researchers have already shown impressive levels of dedication to the replacement of animals in their scientific careers so far and we are delighted to help further their education and training in innovative new technologies that do not rely on animals.

The summer school is a popular annual event for post-graduate researchers and early career researchers active in the fields of biomedical science and toxicology who are interested in learning about the latest advances in non-animal methods and technologies from experts in the field. Activities include debates, interactive sessions, poster presentations, and a visit to the EURL-ECVAM laboratories. The travel awards will help cover flight and accommodation costs for the researchers.

Nathalia Indolfo
São Paulo, Brazil

Nathalia actively developed and implemented non-animal approaches in her post at the Brazilian Biosciences National Laboratory (LNBio), where she was part of a project implementing OECD guidelines for the assessment of eye irritation and eye corrosion potential of chemicals using alternative methods.

Nathalia currently works at Natura, a Brazilian cosmetic company, where she is applying her knowledge and experience in non-animal methods as a product safety analyst.

Guilio Bracialente
Turin, Italy

Guilio is a chemical risk assessor and environmental consultant with extensive experience in assessing the potential risks posed by chemicals to human and environmental health. He has a particular interest in the risks and implications for health and the environment associated with products containing nanomaterials.

Giulio hopes that the summer school will provide him with a better understanding of in vitro and in silico non-animal methods that will be indispensable for his work in the regulatory arena.

Rohit Bhatia
Delhi, India

Rohit is an independent consultant focused on promoting the use of non-animal methods in research and testing. His background lies in chemistry and he has a proven track record of promoting the adoption of non-animal testing methods.

Rohit anticipates that attendance at the summer school will provide an exceptional opportunity to enhance his knowledge and learn from the best practitioners and experts in this area. He hopes that the knowledge and experience gained from the summer school will help achieve his objective of creating awareness and promoting the use of non-animal testing methods.

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Unilever & Humane Society International join forces to end cosmetics animal testing

Human Toxicology Project Consortium founding members Unilever and Humane Society International (HSI) have teamed up to eliminate animal testing in the global cosmetics industry within five years.

Unilever has long been a leader in the development of non-animal toxicity test methods and strategies. Now the personal care giant has pledged support for HSI’s #BeCrueltyFree campaign and will work closely with HSI to advance policy changes that effectively ban cosmetics animal testing globally. For example, Unilever will back HSI’s efforts to strengthen Australia’s proposed cosmetics animal testing ban, bringing it into alignment with the complete ban already in place in the EU.

The two organizations will also collaborate with manufacturers and regulatory agencies to increase the use of non-test strategies for risk assessment. HSI’s Hannah Stuart, campaign manager for #BeCrueltyFree Australia, notes that a “combination of hazard-focused ‘Tox21‘ and exposure led ‘Risk21‘ approaches represents the future of safety assessment.”

Finally, to increase acceptance of non-animal test methods and non-test strategies across stakeholders – from consumers to regulators – the Unilever and HSI partnership will develop online training components (such as a Coursera course) that use real-world examples and case studies to teach users how these non-animal test and non-test strategies are applied in safety decisions about cosmetics ingredients.

Read more in Cosmetics Design Europe.

alternative toxicity testing cosmetics Humane Society International Tox21 Unilever