NABR has filed an official complaint with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regarding the refusal of major airlines to carry animals for the purpose of research. Opponents to animal research have now activated their grassroots networks and are flooding the docket with individual comments.The ISTT has written a letter of support to show the DOT how critical this issue is to the future of biomedical research.
The ISTT is a scientific society whose members are generating and/or studying genetically modified animals and often engaged in assisted reproductive technologies. Although the use of animals is currently unavoidable we recognize that work is being done to develop alternative non-animal models in keeping with the 3Rs principle of replacement. Our membership is aware of our responsibility towards the animals we use for our work including the expectation that animal use will be reduced and the lifetime experience of experimental animals refined in accordance with the 3Rs principles of humane experimental technique.
The new and accelerating technical development of the CRISPR/Cas9 system opens up for the possibility of targeted genetic modifications in germline competent human embryos. This is an avenue, which until very recently has been regarded as absolutely off limits. To cross the border between genetic modifications of somatic cells and germline cells was simply not conceivable, at least in most Western countries. Indeed, the border has not yet been crossed, but we are getting closer.