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Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

The Crimson Debate

Last month, the Harvard Crimson issued a statement on the recent incidences of animal cruelty uncovered in Harvard and Harvard-affiliated laboratories.  The article, entitled “Confronting Cruelty: Harvard Should Not Tolerate Unnecessary Cruelty In Its Labs” and written collaboratively by the entire newspaper staff, is good… but the comments below it are even better.

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More Science Fiction

An article published by Reuters, entitled “New Rules Urged on Hybrid Animal-Human Experiments” by Ben Hirschler, led me to think about what would happen if human genes, cells, organs, etc. were inserted into animals or vice-versa.

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Elephant Painting Self-Portrait (http://www.exoticworldgifts.com/)

Last week, a friend of mine told me about a professor she knew who had conducted primate research back in the 1970s, long before animal testing was even an issue.  Apparently this professor quit the lab, because she could no longer handle the presumably traumatic experience of working with primates.  Upon hearing this story, I turned to my friend and asked why other researchers had not yet arrived at a similar conclusion.  So, after some thoughtful reflection, she replied that perhaps it was because not enough scientific research had been done to study all of the cognitive abilities of primates and other mammals, at least not enough to justify any drastic structural and ideological change.  Although I accepted her explanation, I was not entirely convinced.  Why do we need science to tell us something we already intuitively know?

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Returning the Alamogordo Chimpanzees to Research

"Bobby holds onto a metal barrier... The white area of his arm is scarring due to self-mutilation."

There are nearly two hundred chimpanzees residing at the Alamogordo Primate Facility in New Mexico.  These animals, which were once used as test subjects, have been withheld from research for the last ten years.  Now, the National Institute for Health (NIH) wants to move them from the facility, and back into research.   Meanwhile, animal-rights activists want them transferred to a sanctuary.

In a special report, entitled “Life in the Lab,” McClatchy Newspapers examined the debate surrounding primate research, by interviewing researchers and activists, reading  scientific articles, and reviewing the chimp’s medical records, documents which the NIH released after a five year legal battle with In Defense of Animals.  The following is a list of the report’s major points, organized by “pros” and “cons.”

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