The Golden Goose Awards

Politicians sometimes deride research based on the what they perceive as being "silly" titles of federal funded grants.  If they spot a title that deals with "games", for example, they may assume it deals with some sort of amusement of little value to society, instead of a deep, powerful branch of mathematics that describes the behavior of … Continue reading The Golden Goose Awards

Restoring vision in night blindness: Mice point way to stem cell therapy

Impaired vision and blindness are leading causes of disability, affecting over 3 million people in the USA today, so it’s no surprise that biomedical scientists are working hard to develop therapies to improve and restore vision.  Over the past few years we have discussed several therapies that have been developed to treat different types of … Continue reading Restoring vision in night blindness: Mice point way to stem cell therapy

Straight from the animal rights book

It is that time of the year when animal rights activists, will show up at our workplaces dressed in their favorite animal costumes to spread more nonsense and misinformation about the nature of biomedical research. One of their favorite claims is that the scientific community treats animals like any other piece of disposable, laboratory equipment … Continue reading Straight from the animal rights book

Mouse study points to effective treatment of Fragile X syndrome

Fragile X syndrome is the most common genetic causes of intellectual disability, affecting about 1 in 4,000 people with more males affected than females, and also the most common genetic cause of autism, being responsible for 2-6% of all cases of autism. While no drugs have yet been approved to treat Fragile X syndrome, there … Continue reading Mouse study points to effective treatment of Fragile X syndrome

Benefits of Animal Research, Right Down to the Letter

It's always exciting, in this day and age, to get a letter that isn't spam. Even more exciting when the letter is from another continent. And even more when it's a letter as supportive and insightful as this one (full text below). Dear Tom Holder: I am a freshman studying at Orange County High School … Continue reading Benefits of Animal Research, Right Down to the Letter

Objections to the Marginal Case Argument

Scientists are often challenged with the so-called marginal case argument. We are asked to spell out the criteria that make our experiments justifiable in animals but not in humans with comparable abilities and therefore comparable interests. These criteria, we are told, must be evaluated for each individual separately (so-called moral individualism). The resulting argument against … Continue reading Objections to the Marginal Case Argument

Good, bad, useful? Reflections on animal models for Parkinson’s disease research

Parkinson’s disease is a relentless, ruthless neurodegenerative disorder that often strikes in the early “golden years”, around 60 years of age, but sometimes much earlier.  It progressively robs its victims of every capability that makes life enjoyable, from their ability to move, talk, eat by mouth, and in the worst cases, decreasing their cognitive abilities. … Continue reading Good, bad, useful? Reflections on animal models for Parkinson’s disease research