Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Heart of Vivisection

"Gene Expression Control by the 1918 Flu in Macaques" is the title of a grant awarded to Carole R. Baskin, a junior scientist and veterinarian at Arizona State University, by NIAID (the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease), a part of the NIH.

Three things make this grant worth noting. The first is the monkeys' suffering, but only a small minority cares very much about anyone's suffering but their own. The second is the concern over proliferation voiced by prudent scientists when the 1918 Spanish flu genome was published. (See Experts fear escape of 1918 flu from lab.) This study seems to be more evidence that their concerns were warranted.

The third thing worth noting goes to the heart of the motivations of vivisectors. (Always an interesting topic.) Are they trying to help humanity? Do they use a particular species of animal because it is the "best" model of some illness or metabolic system in humans? Well, consider what Baskin says:
(provided by applicant) These studies will be performed by Dr. Carole Baskin (DVM), who has recently completed a 4-year fellowship in the Department of Comparative Medicine, and who is seeking the training necessary to develop an independent research program focused on using nonhuman primates as models of human infectious disease.
Did you understand that? She isn't focusing on a particular disease that necessitates (according to the claims) a particular animal model, she simply wants to experiment on monkeys. She says:
The training environment provides outstanding facilities, expertise in nonhuman primate models of virus infection, and state-of-the-art resources for using genomic technologies and bioinformatics to study virus-host interactions.
And again:
These studies will provide training in the skills needed to use nonhuman primates as models for human infectious disease, to develop and implement a scientifically sound research program, and to incorporate genomic technologies for the evaluation of gene expression as well as clinical data.
If the study of basic host/virus interactions was really what she was interested in, she could study plant viruses.

But this isn't her real interest; her real interest is, as she says, "nonhuman primate models," and this lays bare the reality behind the vivisectors' sick motivations.


[Vets should be trying to help animals not hurting and killing them. If they want to play doctor and study human illnesses, let them go to medical school and study humans. Sheesh.]

1 comment:

Amy C. said...

"Vets should be trying to help animals not hurting and killing them."

That's exactly what I was thinking when I read "These studies will be performed by Dr. Carole Baskin (DVM)." What the hell kind of vet chooses to inflict suffering upon animals?!