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article imageU.S. animal experiments must now include male and females

By Tim Sandle     May 17, 2014 in Science
Washington - Gender neutrality has reached the realm of science. U.S. government funded studies not require grant applicants to address sex balance in all future cell and animal studies.
The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) is to ask grant applicants to include both male and female animals or tissues in pre-clinical research funding proposals, according to a policy announcement published in the science journalNature by Francis Collins, NIH director, and Janine Clayton, the agency’s associate director of Research on Women's Health.
The reason for this, the NIH argues, is that current research suggests that men and women respond to drugs differently. For example, women respond differently to nicotine patches, yet there is a tendency towards using mainly male animals in research, according to The Verge. Scientists often use male mice by default partly because it was how they were trained in animal research, but also because of fears that the hormonal cycles of female mice might introduce extra variability to the data.
The changes to pre-clinical research funding proposal requirements will be rolled out in phases, the first beginning in October.
More about Animals, Vivisection, animal experiments, Gender
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