PETA Science Consortium International is working to replace animal-derived reagents commonly used in laboratories with humane, scientifically robust alternatives. Animal-derived reagents may vary between batches, be contaminated with animal proteins or pathogens, have low quality, or lead to unexpected outcomes. Animal-free reagents offer the opportunity to increase reliability and reproducibility of research and testing, and they allow scientists to better define and understand the reagents used in their studies.
Specifically, the Science Consortium aims to eliminate the use of animal-derived components in these areas.
- Cell culture media. Numerous components of cell culture media can be derived from animals, including serum, tissue extracts, hydrolysates, growth factors, hormones, proteins, peptides, lipids, adhesion factors, and amino acids. Foetal bovine serum (FBS) is commonly used as a supplement for cell culture media. Obtained from the blood of foetal calves when pregnant cows are slaughtered, its use presents significant ethical and scientific challenges. Read more about our work to replace the use of FBS and other animal components in cell culture here.
- Antibodies. The replacement of animal-derived antibodies with animal-free recombinant antibodies or other non-animal affinity reagents provides scientific, economic, and time-saving advantages. Read more about our work to promote the use of animal-free recombinant antibodies here.
- Antitoxins. Antitoxins are antibodies that neutralise specific toxins. The Science Consortium is funding the creation of animal-free antitoxins to replace the use of the traditional development method in which horses are hyperimmunised and bled. Read more about our work to develop animal-free antitoxins here.