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Are animal models still essential to biological research?

Future Science OA article looks at current issues and perspectives in use of animals for medical research

Future Science Group


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Credit: Future Science Group

Future Science Group (FSG) today announced the publication of a new article in Future Science OA, covering the use of animal models in scientific research.

The use of animals in scientific research prompts regular debate and it can be difficult to garner a clear picture of the actual need for animal models.

In the article published in Future Science OA, Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and Xavier Montagutelli attempt to clarify this important issue, explaining why animal models are still essential to biological research. Barré-Sinoussi, who won the Nobel Prize for her co-discovery of HIV and is director of the Regulation of Retroviral Infections Division at the Institut Pasteur (Paris, France), spoke at the recent European Commission hearing regarding the European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) "Stop Vivisection". Montagutelli is head of the animal facilities at Institut Pasteur.

"Basic research and development of new cures for human and animal diseases have made tremendous progress and saved millions of lives thanks to studying various animal models," commented Montagutelli. "We will never be able to replace all of them with alternative methods, but we have to work hard on making them more predictable for humans, while protecting animal welfare. Europe has put this direction very high on its agenda."

In the opinion piece, the authors discuss why replacement of animal models with in vitro research is still a distant prospect, and the ethical issues involved with animal research. They then go on to explain the need for an improvement in our understanding and use of animal models, to reduce incidences of animal research not translating to success with humans. They also go on to clarify current EU regulation in this arena.

Francesca Lake, Managing Editor, commented: "The use of animals in research is a constant area of debate. This work attempts to allay some of the confusion surrounding the issues in this area, and we hope it will provoke constructive discussion around the future of animal research."

The article "Animal models are essential to biological research: issues and perspectives" is available free to read, here:


About Future Science OA

Launched in March 2015, Future Science OA is the inaugural gold open access journal from Future Science Group. It publishes articles covering research of application to human health, and utilizes a CC-BY license. Future Science OA embraces the importance of publishing all good-quality research with the potential to further the progress of medical science. Negative and early-phase research will be considered. The journal also features review articles, editorials and perspectives, providing readers with a leading source of commentary and analysis.

About Future Science Group

Founded in 2001, Future Science Group (FSG) is a progressive publisher focused on breakthrough medical, biotechnological, and scientific research. FSG's portfolio includes two imprints, Future Science and Future Medicine. In addition to this core publishing business, FSG develops specialist eCommunities. Key titles and sites include Bioanalysis Zone, Epigenomics, Nanomedicine and the award-winning Regenerative Medicine.

The aim of FSG is to service the advancement of clinical practice and drug research by enhancing the efficiency of communications among clinicians, researchers and decision-makers, and by providing innovative solutions to their information needs. This is achieved through a customer-centric approach, use of new technologies, products that deliver value-for-money and uncompromisingly high standards.

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