Labour and birth
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New ethical research to combat premature birth

The Dr Hadwen Trust aims to replace animal testing with a more humane approach.

Posted: 30 July 2007
by Monica Stylli

The Dr Hadwen Trust T-shirt
30% of all pregnancies in the UK result in some form of abnormal labour such as premature birth or failure to go into labour. Sadly, babies born at 23 weeks have just a 17% chance of survival and 1 in 10 premature babies will develop a permanent disability such as lung disease, cerebral palsy, blindness or deafness.

Despite these statistics, very little is known about how the human womb works and animal experiments are common, but results can be misleading because of the physiological differences.

The Dr Hadwen Trust, the UK's leading non-animal medical research charity, is pioneering ground-breaking research to tackle this problem and replace animal testing at the same time. The charity is funding the development of a human womb in the test-tube that allows researchers to switch on and off particular genes to see what effect they have. The technique uses human womb tissue from caesarean sections which can still contract in the test tube for many days.

In conjunction with this research, The Dr Hadwen Trust has produced a special t-shirt to help raise funds for the project. Made using fairly traded cotton, the t-shirt is available in white with three-quarter length sleeves and comes in S, M, L, XL.

It costs £14.99 and is available to buy online at or by telephone on 01462 455 510.

For more information on the research check out

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