How Technology Can Replace Animals in Lab Practices

  • Eduardo DopicoEmail author
  • Eva Garcia-Vazquez
Part of the Environmental Discourses in Science Education book series (EDSE, volume 2)


In the struggle between instinct and culture, science and education help to combat ignorance. To broaden knowledge is a natural function in humans. Clinical trials with animals allow us to establish hypotheses about living organisms and test possible factors we suppose are conducive to improving our health and quality of life. The consequences for animals used, called lab animals, are usually terrible. People referring to themselves as objectors of such practices have put animal-testing practices into question, generating much discussion. We need to find alternative ways to leave animals peacefully. Currently, biotechnology offers proposes scientific challenges that were unthinkable a few years ago. Thus, today we can use techniques for evaluating many biological risks of substances, and such methods are not harmful to animals. Some of the methods are based on Environmental DNA (eDNA) research that allows the analysis of aquatic ecosystems through a simple sampling of water. Using eDNA, there is no need to sacrifice a cohort of fish to control invasive marine species that travel in ballast water of large vessels. It is more than likely that the fine analysis of the environmental chemistry of the biosphere and the virtual simulation models can afford us to generalize these practices without using animals in clinical trials. The challenges posed by the development of biotechnology offer us a hopeful track that could probably be generalized in the very near future.


Science education Animal research Animal welfare Fours Rs principle eDNA 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Education ScienceUniversity of OviedoOviedoSpain
  2. 2.Department Functional BiologyUniversity of OviedoOviedoSpain

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