Part 2: University of Toronto ends live primate research – Outsourcing Controversy

 Earlier this week we wrote about the University of Toronto’s public statements concerning the end of their on-site primate research. A number of broader questions were raised by considering similar cases and articles.  Among them, what does it mean for a university to claim that it does not engage in a particular type of research?  … Continue reading Part 2: University of Toronto ends live primate research – Outsourcing Controversy

End of Primate Research at the University of Toronto?

Intended or not, comments by a university administrator and veterinarian in some Canadian news articles last week likely gave some readers a distorted view not only of the status of research at the University of Toronto, but of animal research more broadly. A pair of articles reported that primate research at the U of T had ended. … Continue reading End of Primate Research at the University of Toronto?

AAAS recognizes the work of Speaking of Research members

On Friday two of our number, David Jentsch and Dario Ringach, travelled to Vancouver to join their UCLA colleague Edythe London in receiving the prestigious Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society, with over 125,000 members, and the … Continue reading AAAS recognizes the work of Speaking of Research members

Can stem cells repair broken hearts? Thanks to animal research we may soon find out!

On Monday – and appropriately perhaps just in time for St. Valentine’s day – a team of scientists at the Cedars Sinai Heart Institute led by Dr. Eduardo Marbán announced that in a small clinical trial they had repaired damaged heart tissue using an infusion stem cells derived from the heart attack patient’s own heart. … Continue reading Can stem cells repair broken hearts? Thanks to animal research we may soon find out!

A welcome end to random-source dog and cat dealers

The National Institutes of Health has announced that starting October 1, 2012, NIH funds may no longer be used to buy cats from Class B dealers. A similar prohibition in the purchase of dogs from Class B dealers takes effect in 2015. Although dogs and cats constitute only small percentage of research animals, they have … Continue reading A welcome end to random-source dog and cat dealers

Animal rights campaigns: When free speech takes a hideous turn

An important principle of American democracy is that the free exchange of ideas is crucial to social progress. We accept that protected speech can be often be ugly, provoke social unrest and include acts of civil disobedience. Yet, as far as possible, we must ensure that people are free to express their ideas - this cannot … Continue reading Animal rights campaigns: When free speech takes a hideous turn

Pop Quiz!

Take out a piece of paper and a sharpened #2 pencil. Please read carefully the following story and answer all the questions. You have 15 min. One Saturday morning Dr. X was walking her dog thinking about some recent results in her field when it dawned on her that she might actually have the key … Continue reading Pop Quiz!