“Piglets into Personalized Avatars” is #SciComm done right!

Yesterday, Ed Yong, a science writer for The Atlantic, published a fantastic article describing how miniature pigs are now being relied upon as personalized models of devastating diseases. His article described how Dr. Dhanu Shanmuganayagam is using the gene-editing technique CRISPR to create pigs that have the specific mutations of particular individuals with the disease neurofibromatosis … Continue reading “Piglets into Personalized Avatars” is #SciComm done right!

70 year old professor retires and closes lab, PETA claims victory

The retirement of a highly respected senior neuroscientist at the center of a sustained recent publicity campaign by an animal rights group generated a victory claim on Friday when PETA realized that their target had retired. The retirement came after a productive and award-winning 40 year research and teaching career. University of Wisconsin-Madison neuroscience Professor … Continue reading 70 year old professor retires and closes lab, PETA claims victory

Harlow Dead, Bioethicists Outraged

The philosophy and bioethics community was rocked and in turmoil Friday when they learned that groundbreaking experimental psychologist Professor Harry Harlow had died over 30 years ago. Harlow's iconic studies of mother and infant monkeys have endured for decades as the centerpiece of philosophical debate and animal rights campaigns.  With news of his death, philosophers … Continue reading Harlow Dead, Bioethicists Outraged

Conversation Starter? PETA’s Bus Ads on University of Wisconsin Hearing Research

As predicted, PETA’s ongoing campaign against scientific research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison continues, escalating this week with a striking advertisement on 100 Metro buses. The ad calls for an end to UW research aimed at better understanding how the brain processes sound. A central question is how sound arriving at both ears is combined … Continue reading Conversation Starter? PETA’s Bus Ads on University of Wisconsin Hearing Research

Closing your eyes may open your heart

A statement of fact can be falsified by presenting a single counterexample.  For example, the claim that “Pigs don’t fly” can be proven false by just finding one that does. Similarly, the claim that “we owe the same moral consideration to all sentient living beings” can be falsified by considering scenarios where acting on such … Continue reading Closing your eyes may open your heart

PeTA: When everything else fails, bring out a celebrity

Opponents of the use of animals in medical research have failed to make a compelling scientific and moral argument against the work. Having repeated the same arguments for more than a century, and recognizing they are unlikely to succeed in the future, their strategies have shifted towards the simple goal of interfering and obstructing animal research in … Continue reading PeTA: When everything else fails, bring out a celebrity

Animal welfare inspectors clear UW-Madison cat research of PETA allegations, important hearing research continues

A second federal agency charged with oversight of animal research has completed a thorough investigation of an animal rights group's complaints about sound localization research with cats at the University of Wisconsin. Summary of the result:  “there was no direct noncompliance with the PHS Policy or serious deviation from the provisions of the Guide for … Continue reading Animal welfare inspectors clear UW-Madison cat research of PETA allegations, important hearing research continues