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Lab-grown human skin helps reduce animal testing

According to Scientific American, new experimental models based on three-dimensional reconstructions of human skin are helping to reduce chemical testing on live animals, but cannot yet replace animals altogether.

To prevent undue harm, regulators in the U.S. and around the world require safety testing of many substances to identify their potential hazards and to ensure appropriate warning labels appear on products.

Traditionally, such skin tests have been done on live animals, primarily albino rabbits.

In recent decades, efforts to develop humane approaches — along with ones that are more relevant to people — have resulted in new models based on laboratory-grown human skin says Nicholette Zeliadt of Scientific American.

The most recent advancement toward animal-free testing took place when the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development officially approved three commercially-available in vitro models of human skin for use in chemical testing.

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