Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Two Examples of Mice Experiments - Valid or Not?

I came across these stories about two different medical experiments using mice.

In this experiment,
scientists tested whether lighting can cause depression. They used different lighting situations to see how they affect mice moods. One of the conclusions? That children who watch television late at night could be “more likely to develop depression."

I'm not convinced that I as a taxpayer would approve funding of this project. Aren't there better things to research? You would need to be watching television late at night regularly in order for the lighting to have an impact. Children shouldn't be regularly watching television late at night for many reasons other than depression. Like they should be sleeping! Are parents who are not paying attention to their kids suddenly going to send them to bed because they might get depressed? Plus, are mice comparable to kids (although I would prefer mice subjects to primates who are so much more sensitive)?

Whether intentionally or not, the title of the article catches the frivolity of the research...."Don't let your mouse watch TV."


Here's another experiment
using mice to determine whether stress and chemicals in plastic is leading to messed up male genitals and, therefore, infertility. The mice are exposed to certain chemicals to see the impacts. But see the qualifications in the article....

....The animal research has offered one explanation for the rising number of babies born with these conditions. However, it involved exposing rats to chemicals at levels that humans are usually not exposed to. This means the conclusions should be treated with caution.

....As this study was mainly about the effect of high doses of a chemical called phthalates on the number of rats born with undescended testicles, it is premature to report that stress has a part to play in reducing fertility in men.

So, why put the animals through this if it's not even a reflective experiment. Sounds like they did it because they could and who cares if you destroy a few carcasses for the hell of it.

1 comment:

Bea Elliott said...

Taxpayer money indeed... I saw a recent experiment with rats. They wanted to determine the amount of "risk" rats would take in relationship to what gamblers in Las Vegas venture. I think that study ran $318,000. Absurd isn't it?

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