Laying the foundations of medical research

For the past couple of weeks a debate has been raging on the Opposing Views website between Speaking of Research’s Dario Ringach and the anti-vivisectionist Ray Greek. It has been a debate shaped by Dr. Greek's attempts to persuade readers to agree with his very narrow concept of what prediction means in biology and his … Continue reading Laying the foundations of medical research

RNAi: Send in the Nanobots!

The publication of the preliminary results of a small clinical trial of a new therapy called RNA interference (RNAi) online in the scientific journal Nature is causing quite a stir in the scientific community this week.  A team led by Professor Mark E. Davis at Caltech targeted the delivery of a nanoparticle only 70 nanometers … Continue reading RNAi: Send in the Nanobots!

Pompe disease – a starring role for animal research

The new Harrison Ford film, Extraordinary Measures, hitting US cinemas from 22 January, is a fictionalised account of the development of a treatment for Pompe disease, a rare genetic disorder. Pompe disease (glycogen storage disease type 2, acid maltase deficiency) is an enzyme deficiency with devastating effects – progressive muscle weakness and, in the severe … Continue reading Pompe disease – a starring role for animal research

Nobel Prize time again (and the Laskers too)

Back in August, Dario wrote about how basic science contributes to medical advances and today the Nobel Assembly chose to recognize the importance of such work by awarding the The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2009 to Dr. Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Professor Carol W. Greider and Professor Jack W. Szostak for their discovery of … Continue reading Nobel Prize time again (and the Laskers too)

Basic science is fundamental science

I continue my series on some of the misconceptions of biomedical science (previously looking at the limits of fMRI and computer simulations) with a look at what basic science is. Some scientists devote their entire lives to understanding and describing key experimental phenomena in their fields of study: that is, they engage in “basic science”.  … Continue reading Basic science is fundamental science

The Limits of Computer Simulations

Following on from the last post about the limits of fMRI technology, we will now look further at the limits of another so called "alternative" - computer simulations. Animal rights groups also argue (Warning: AR website) that advanced computer simulations can replace the use of animals in our research.  This position, again, reflects the poor … Continue reading The Limits of Computer Simulations

Top Websites on Animal Research

There have been many new and old websites that cover the facts on animal research - many of which can be found in the links section. Here are some of the ones I've found particularly helpful and informative: Animal Research Info is possibly the most comprehensive source of information on the web regarding the role … Continue reading Top Websites on Animal Research

Maine: The review

Admittedly I didn't see much of Maine to give a proper review, so you're going to have to cope with just a report of my presentation at The Jackson Laboratories in Bar Harbour, Maine. The Jackson Laboratory has been associated with the work of 20 Nobel Prize winners since 1960, through its own research and … Continue reading Maine: The review