Stem cells may replace animal testing  or

German researchers say stem-cell testing can be used to replace hundreds of thousands of experiments on animals.

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Cologne-based physician Heribert Bohlen said a test he developed using stem cells from mice can offer "at least the same amount of information about the possible toxic effects on unborn human life as experiments on mice, rabbits, rats and guinea pigs," Deutsche Welle reported.

In addition to saving animal lives, Bohlen said tests using the new stem-cell technology are more economical than conventional animal experiments.

The newspaper said SUV Rheinland Group and the company Axiogenesis developed the R.E.Tox method. The developers claim that the method can show whether or not a substance damages fetal human cells or hinders their development.

Animal welfare activists say they are happy when animals' lives can be saved, regardless of the number, but they emphasize that widespread testing on animals still continues, the newspaper said.