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SEA-PCB awarded the II Harlan Prize for research promoting the rational use of laboratory animals

By 3 de December de 2007November 18th, 2020No Comments
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SEA-PCB awarded the II Harlan Prize for research promoting the rational use of laboratory animals

The Animal Experimentation Service of the Barcelona Science Park () has been awarded the II Harlan Prize for Innovation and Refinement in Animal Experimentation for research that developed a predictive mathematical model aimed at determining early stage gestations in mice. The prize, which is awarded by the Spanish Society for Laboratory Animal Sciences () in conjunction with the company Harlan Interfauna Ibérica, was officially presented during the IX SECAL Congress, held recently in the city of Cordoba.

The prize, which is worth 2,500 EURO, aims to promote scientific research concerning the rational use of laboratory animals.

In the field of animal experimentation, obtaining samples of early-stage embryos is a critical and complex process that is also vital for improving our knowledge about the expression of molecules involved in embryo development; likewise, it is also essential in terms of understanding the mechanisms that affect the tolerance of embryos to different drugs during gestation (for example, in the study of malformations).

The research conducted by the SEA-PCB presents an effective model for identifying early-stage gestations in mice, one that has shown reliability of over 98%. The mathematical model involves calculating the percentage increase in weight with respect to the initial weight of females, and both facilitates and systematises this task. The method applies the rule of 3Rs (reduce, replace and refine) in order to enable a more rational use of laboratory animals.

In animal experimentation the application of any one of these three rules on its own already constitutes an improvement, as they refer to the following three principles of action: reduce as far as possible the number of animals used without undermining the authenticity of results; replace, whenever possible, one type of animal with another of lower neurovegetative sensitivity; and refine the methods or techniques used in this field so as to obtain more information from the smallest possible number of samples.

The award-winning research was chosen from among 64 experimental studies put forward, and will be published in the next edition of the SECAL journal Animales de Laboratorio. The authors of the research are Rosa Balmaseda, Marisa Larramona, Joaquima Navarro, Jesús González, Albert Altafaj and Xavier Cañas, who is manager of the SEA-PCB.