Table of Contents: Animals, Research, and Alternatives: Measuring Progress 50 Years Later


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In 1959, William Russell and Rex Burch published the seminal book, The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique, which emphasized reduction, refinement, and replacement of animal use, principles which have since been referred to as the "3 Rs". These principles served as the cornerstone for current animal research guidelines, but questions remain about the adequacy of existing guidelines, implementation, and enforcement. Further, while the "3 Rs" capture crucially important concepts, they do not adequately reflect the substantial developments in new knowledge about the emotional and cognitive capabilities of animals or an updated understanding of harms associated with animal research.

In August 2010, the Georgetown University Kennedy Institute of Ethics, the Johns Hopkins University Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing, the Institute for In Vitro Sciences, The George Washington University, and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine jointly held a two day multi-disciplinary, international conference in Washington, DC, to address opportunities and challenges to implementing alternatives to animal research. This two-day symposium aimed to advance the study of the ethical and scientific issues surrounding the use of animals in testing and research, with particular emphasis on the adequacy of current protections and the promise and challenges of developing alternatives to the use of animals in basic research, pharmaceutical research and development, and regulatory toxicology.

This Collection combines papers that were written following this conference with an aim to highlight progress and research in this important area. Although the Collection only briefly touches on the myriad of ethical and scientific issues surrounding the use of animals in research, its aim is to spur ethical and scientific advancement.

Videos and other materials from the Animals, Research, and Alternatives: Measuring Progress 50 Years Later conference can be found at

Collection citation: PLoS ONE: Animals, Research, and Alternatives: Measuring Progress 50 Years Later (2011) PLoS Collections:



Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: Defining New Risk Assessment Approaches Based on Perturbation of Intracellular Toxicity Pathways

Sudin Bhattacharya, Qiang Zhang, Paul L. Carmichael, Kim Boekelheide, Melvin E. Andersen

Research Articles

Signs of Mood and Anxiety Disorders in Chimpanzees

Hope R. Ferdowsian, Debra L. Durham, Charles Kimwele, Godelieve Kranendonk, Emily Otali, Timothy Akugizibwe, J. B. Mulcahy, Lilly Ajarova, Cassie Meré Johnson

How Abnormal Is the Behaviour of Captive, Zoo-Living Chimpanzees?

Lucy P. Birkett, Nicholas E. Newton-Fisher

Evaluation of 309 Environmental Chemicals Using a Mouse Embryonic Stem Cell Adherent Cell Differentiation and Cytotoxicity Assay

Kelly J. Chandler, Marianne Barrier, Susan Jeffay, Harriette P. Nichols, Nicole C. Kleinstreuer, Amar V. Singh, David M. Reif, Nisha S. Sipes, Richard S. Judson, David J. Dix, Robert Kavlock, Edward S. Hunter III, Thomas B. Knudsen