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Amid a push to use fewer animals in medical research, Maryland is on the verge of becoming the first state to adopt a law that would make a dedicated investment in alternative approaches.

Earlier this month, the legislature passed a bill that does not prohibit the use of animals such as monkeys or dogs in research, but would require universities and companies that do so in the state to contribute to a new fund. A state agency would then issue grants from that fund for alternate forms of research, such as cell-based assays, organs-on-a-chip, and computer models.


The bill, which must still be signed into law by Gov. Wes Moore, reflects ongoing efforts to transform the way research is conducted and lessen a long-standing reliance on animals. That goal is increasingly shared by animal rights activists, academic and government researchers and to an extent, biotech and pharmaceutical companies.

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