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Universiteit Utrecht
3Rs-Centre Utrecht Life Sciences
Newsletter, December 2017
The mission statement of the 3Rs-Centre Utrecht Life Sciences (ULS) is to stimulate the development, acceptance and implementation of methods which can Replace, Reduce and Refine (the 3Rs) animal experiments. The centre facilitates the 3Rs in education and animal research in many ways, by providing information and advice about 3Rs models.

Ferrets in the laboratory: opportunities for refinement
Ferrets are a frequently used animal model, for example for influenza research. However, little is known about their behavior and needs. As a result, many opportunities to refine the care and use of laboratory ferrets had not been seized. Dr. Marsha Reijgwart studied the possibilities to enrich the ferrets’ environment, and also investigated how to recognize pain in these animals. On the 12th of December 2017, Reijgwart obtained a PhD degree with her dissertation entitled “Refinement of the care and use of laboratory ferrets”.
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Alternatives Research & Development Foundation supports FCS-free.org
Alternatives Research & Development Foundation (ARDF) has shown their support by giving a generous donation to support the FCS-free database, an initiative launched by the 3Rs Centre ULS. FCS-free.org is a website that encourages the use of serum-free media for in vitro studies. The donation from ARDF will increase the impact the website has on both the replacement of animals used in research and the reproducibility of in vitro studies.
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PLOS Biology Experimental Design Assistant
PLOS Biology has published a paper on the Experimental Design Assistant. The EDA is a web-based tool that guides the in vivo researcher through the experimental design and analysis process, providing automated feedback on the proposed design and generating a graphical summary that aids communication with colleagues, funders, regulatory authorities, and the wider scientific community. It has the potential to have an important role in addressing causes of irreproducibility.
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English translation of Dutch Act on Animals used for scientific purposes
The Dutch law on animal experimentation (WoD) has been translated into English. It is a non-official translation, where appropriate specific reference is made to elements of the EU Directive 2010/63/EU. The translation can be found on the website of the 3Rs-Centre ULS.
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UU & UMCU stimulate 3Rs innovations with funding among their employees
Utrecht University and the UMC Utrecht have awarded funding to enable promising innovations in the area of the 3Rs in the form of small-scale research within their owh institutions. These can be 3Rs applications for animals used for scientific research, or education and training. The money comes from the 3Rs Stimulus Fund, established in 2016.
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Cell-based model means a step forward for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease research
Researchers from the University of Edinburgh have developed a new system to study Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in vitro. The work, funded by an NC3Rs project grant, has been published in The Journal of Experimental Medicine. This is the first cell-based system that effectively models known aspects of disease susceptibility and demonstrates the potential of human stem cell-derived astrocytes to notably reduce, and in many instances replace, animal studies of human prion disease.
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Revised Guidelines for the use of animals 
The Guidelines for the treatment of animals in behavioural research and teaching cover, among other topics, legislation, the 3Rs, choice of species and non-animal alternatives, the number of individuals, procedures, endangered species, procurement and transport of animals, housing, animal care and final disposition of animals. The guidelines are written by the Ethical and Animal Care Committees of the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB) and the Animal Behavior Society. They are published annually in the journal  Animal Behaviour, which uses the guidelines when reviewing submitted manuscripts.
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Updated Acute Systemic Toxicity Section on AltTox
A new section is published on AltTox, called “Acute Systemic Toxicity: Regulatory Testing Overview.” Highlights include two recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) policy initiatives. The writer explains that “these actions are expected to result in a significant reduction in animal use, signaling a pivot from animal to non-animal based testing approaches and represent a major change in how acute toxicity testing will be conducted.”
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Support our activities! 

The 3Rs-Centre ULS maintains the 3Rs databases: The Humane Endpoints Website, the Interspecies Database and the FCS-free Database. These websites contribute to the refinement, reduction and replacement of animals used for research and are free of charge for their users. The website does not receive any financial support and their future relies on donations and gifts. You can help us with keeping these websites available for free by donating a small amount of money for the maintenance and updating of these databases. We are happy with all donations! The 3Rs Program is part of the charitable fund Friends of VetMed, and as such is exempt from any gift or inheritance taxes. This means that 100% of your donation will contribute towards the purpose specified by you.   
Make a donation       »

Take a look at international workshops, conferences, meetings and online webinars in the online events calendar of the 3Rs-Centre ULS.
Events       »

Happy Holidays!

The 3Rs-Centre ULS wishes you a merry Christmas and a happy 2018!

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Yalelaan 2
(+31) 30-2538009

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