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Dr Laura Bramwell & Merlin Davies on the Animal Free Labcast

Published on January 10, 2024

Merlin Davies & Dr Laura Bramwell

Merlin Davies & Dr Laura Bramwell

Dr Laura Bramwell and Merlin Davies, two brilliant researchers at the Animal Replacement Centre of Excellence at the University of Exeter (ARC 2.0) join me for in the latest episode of the Animal Free Labcast.

Listen in as Laura and Merlin tell me how they got started in their scientific careers, the determination it takes to be an animal-free researcher, and how their work is improving our health spans as well as our life spans.

Laura talks about her fascinating research on the role of sex hormones in ageing. She’s investigating whether synthetic progesterones and oestrogens could turn back the ageing clock. And she’s carrying out the first human trial of its kind to assess the potential of plant equivalents of human sex hormones as therapies for osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.

Merlin talks about his work on Covid-19, and how the animal-free Covid-19 PCR test you helped fund during the pandemic led to his PhD investigating the ageing of our immune systems. He’s researching whether we can improve how we react to viral infections as we get older.

You’ll also hear how Merlin’s love of tennis and Laura’s passion for scuba diving drive their desire to find ways to improve our quality of life as we live increasingly longer lives.

And you’ll hear me make a rather embarrassing blooper – red faces all round!!


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Point of view

Animal Free Labcast - Animal Free Research UK's podcast

Our podcast

Talking to Laura and Merlin is always so heart-warming. They’re perfect examples of the next generation of researchers who I’m convinced will get us over the finishing line to the future we all dream of – one where animal free research is the norm, patients have more effective treatments, and animal use is a shameful relic of the past.

A growing number of scientists are increasingly recognising that animal research doesn’t translate into human benefit. Like Laura and Merlin, they’re inventing new models and technologies to generate data that is relevant to humans.

I’m sure we’ll look back at this time as a pivotal moment in history where we reach the tipping point for the transition to animal-free research – for the good of animals, patients and science.

What you can do

If you’d like to make history, here are 3 things you can do to help make the change we want to see in the world:

  1. Join the conversation by listening to the Animal Free Labcast with my guests Dr Laura Bramwell and Merlin Davies – available on our website, SpotifyApple or wherever you get your podcasts.
  2. Help us reach more people by sharing the Animal Free Labcast with your friends and family
  3.  Make a donation if you can, to support the transition to animal-free medical research.

Carla Owen, Animal Free Research UK CEO & host of the Animal Free Labcast

With heartfelt thanks,





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