Fetal calf serum (FCS) is a common ingredient in growth media used to grow cells in the lab (in vitro). Although we want to stimulate in vitro methods (they are important NAMs and they can serve as good replacements), the use of FCS poses a dilemma. FCS is obtained in an animal-unfriendly way, and there are also scientific objections to its use that reduce the reproducibility and relevance of research results.
Given these ethical and scientific concerns, it is better to switch to growth media without FCS. In the FCS-free Database, scientists can search for existing alternatives to FCS for their specific cell culture research. In addition to this database, we also offer active support to replace FCS (Gels & Sera Working Group].
The Interspecies Database offers a large dataset of reliable body values and characteristics of different animal species and humans. This gives researchers the opportunity to choose a laboratory animal that best suits their research question, which, based on the data, corresponds as closely as possible to another animal species (or to humans). This saves not only time and money, but most importantly, laboratory animals. Moreover, this method increases the research quality. The website was originally set up by RIVM, which will continue to be responsible for the supply of data and the quality of the content for the database.