Animal extremists against saving lives and conservation

There are many terrible diseases and one doesn't get to choose. Many of us may be born with a disease as it can be carried in our genes. Perhaps one day we will be able to eradicate these diseases by manipulating them before passing on our genes. Neuroscience for example is an area where animal research is critical because it requires investigating complex functions in living species. You can find out about the animals used here on the brainfacts.org page. Or if you have a question send it from this page and an expert will answer you! Below you can see a vid on jelly fish from Romanian Neuroscientists (www.neuroscience-bucharest.blogspot.com).

Some of the articles found on the Brain facts web site about animal research success, relate to: pscychiatric disorders, polio, the brain's chemical code and stroke. Animals too benefit from the research as we learn to understand some of the more complex functions they possess; see this article about trouts and how some animals orient themselves using magnetism. Actually I had heard about this particular capacity before in birds as a means to explain how birds manage to migrate back and forth without getting lost. Although many questions remain and need to be proven, the subject remains fascinating don't you think so? As you can read in the article new techniques or technologies could be developed building on such findings. Imagine finding back or obtaining a sense of smell, viewing or hearing. All things many of us take for granted and if it weren't for such research WHO would help those that suffer, are incapacitated or have to live with cripling disorders?

Image courtesy Brainfacts.org

Many argue animal research is unethical, it is torture, it is not necessary or no longer necessary. Scientists however disagree and so do patients - those that are waiting for a cure and those that have survived from diseases such as Cancer and many others. Actually so does a silent majority - all of us except those that oppose any animal use. Somehow this minority of extremists, just want to turn off the light for all of us including the animals they say they speak for...do not let them use sentiency, animal welfare or calls from the wild as arguments against animal research nor animal use for that matter!
If you care to take this a step further, make sure you sign this online petition:  http://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/support-medical-progress-through-science-and-animal-research because medical progress matters to all of us and so does animal conservation in zoo's and aquaria. No animal use means we will no longer be able to keep them in such places that have put animal conservation at the center of their concerns and actions. Be mindful of what you wish for others. Especially when they do not have the ability to speak for themselves!



Air India blocks research.

Important Update!
Now that Air India has decided to continue laboratory animal transportation, they have become the target of  those that oppose animal use. The battle rages on Air India's Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/air.india.airlines#!/air.india.airlines and PETA has a campaign up and running for all to lobby the airline. Of course PETA doesn't just stop there it lobbies Airlines to stop COVANCE from doing research on animals and introduces resolutions to shareholders meetings - read here http://www.peta.org/features/covance-incs-cruel-animal-experimentation.aspx/

Please go ahead and show your support to Air India by leaving positive comments in support of their decision to continue transporting laboratory animals. Also make sure you sign the petition towards medical advancement through science and animal research - because medical progress matters to all of us!!

Reading this article , should send shivers down your spine!

An Air India cargo manager issued , or most likely was asked to issue, a circular in which staff were instructed not to accept laboratory destined animals on Air India flights. The article furthermore says that appeals from the scientific community, the secretary of the Biotechnology department and the head of the Scientific Advisory Council to India's Prime Minister appealing the decision have all fallen on deaf ears. Even the Minster of civil aviation could not change the poorly conceived decision.
The Times of India in this article, not surprisingly mentions PETA involvement. (SEE Comments section for an update as to Air India's decision to re-instate the carriage of laboratory animals)

Again a perfect example of a minority dicating their views onto a silent majority. None of these animal extremist groups, be they PETA, HSUS, BUAV or HSI have been elected to implement their views or their agendas. Their tactics are well known and their aims are to stop any animal use by direct and indirect actions. For examples of indirect actions please read my post called Animal welfare unpopular. Their affiliations and sharing of resources are known too, read here.

In the US, Camille Marino of Negotiation is over (NIO) has been imprisoned according to the extremist web site.  Cyber threats have to stop and those that incite others towards commiting this kind of intimidation actions should be sued - see for example smash hls south florida and their target list. The fact did not go unnoticed as is reported here in Nature's blog.

The fact of the matter is that animal research follows stringent rules , don't take my word for it read this article and make your own opinion. It also remains necessary as is illustrated by the Cancer Research blog in the article that relates the creation of a life saving drug Imatinib (Gleevec/Glivec) against Cancer. Read the story of those that were involved. Perhaps you or a family member, a friend or a relative have been saved by what was then called a miracle drug in Time magazine?

Remember, animal research is important because it contributes to finding cures and medical progress matters to all of us! If you agree with the above, if you support animal transport regardless of its purpose or if you disagree with Air India and all those taking us hostage and preventing medical progress to take place, please take a few minutes and sign the online petition that supports medical advancement through science and animal research. Thank you!



David Willetts opens press conference on attitudes to animal research | Understanding Animal Research

David Willetts opens press conference on attitudes to animal research | Understanding Animal Research

For new treatments animal testing is a legal requirement in the UK and that is the way it should be! There was a time when charlatans could sell 'miracle' products to anyone. That time is long gone. In fact if you want to read about what the current expectation is, look at this article from a Washington college student majoring in behavioral neuroscience .

Actually the tone of the article is a bit apologetic and perhaps it illustrates the current mindset of those in research. They know the value of the work, the importance of it to those that are suffering, their compassion and care for the animals they have to use. Those going into such a career should be especially proud. There is no reason not to be and people like me support what you are doing one hundred percent because we know it is necessary, there are no alternatives and what you attempt will benefit generations to come. If one  were to cease the questioning and allow outcome only type research (an oxymoron by itself) research and medical advancement would be stiffled and severely hampered. It is by understanding life sciences, the processes and the mechanisms in living species that real progress occurs.

And if you want to find out about recent progress, read up on how a lab grown kidney does its job in animals.

There are also some excellent comments on the petition page in support of medical progress through science and animal research- take a look here, sign the petition and show the world you care! Signing does make a difference because medical advancement matters to all of us. There are too many waiting for a cure and there are so many that have been saved. Support those that day in day out do this critical work for us and the animals! Cat research on cataracts saves elephant eyesight (courtesy speaking of research).


How does my work in the vivarium help others? | ALN

How does my work in the vivarium help others? | ALN

Please read this story of how Brian Anderson's daughter was saved and how it triggered his interest in drugs and treatments and the link with animal research.

I have blogged about this before, we take a lot of what surrounds us for granted and even more so when it comes to medicines, vaccines and medical progress. Not only does it matter to us as humans but also for animals.

Do not let a virulent minority own the moral grounds of what is right or wrong in science (using animals or not) and medical advancement. Ask yourself how you will behave when confronted with a terrible disease or disorder. We all wish to live a long and healthy life, preferably disease or disorder free. The reality however is different, at some point in our lives we all turn to health care and medical advancement!  Count your blessings for society has not gotten there by chance.

Science and medical advancement has no morals, no ethics but we do and safeguards are built into the processes. Take away animal research and you take away a safeguard that benefits millions of us, ask any toxicologist. Perhaps many fail to make it past animal research into clinical trials however this particular aspect remains part and parcel of the safeguard process. Moreover failure can lead to future success.

In a hospital there is lots of pain and suffering but most of the patients live through it to tell their stories as Brian did for his daughter. Others are not that lucky but their organs give us and scientific research a second chance. Surgeons too live with this predicament on a daily basis. Does it prevent them from returning to the operating table? Thankfully not - like it or not we all live with the risk.
All of these people need to be supported and thanked for the valuable work they do day in, day out.      

You too can make a difference. You can tell your story, you can sign a petition, you can educate your friends, colleagues and neighbours or you can donate to health care charities. Find your own inspiration as did the most honorable Arlen Specter, may his soul rest in peace.


Animal welfare unpopular

Strange but true! Animal welfare is no longer popular.

There is so much pressure from animal rights activists. There are too many regulatory initiatives that seek to change laws, regulations or directives. Not that they all succeed but the fact of the matter remains: animal welfare is no longer popular. I hear people complain about how many initiatives are well intended but not really thought out as they should be. Often the initiatives back a hidden agenda of no animal use,  animal liberation or animal rights. If you are confused by any of these concepts and the blurying of the boundaries, don't worry that too is part of the exercise because all that matters to animal extremists is to win and for you and all others to loose.

Take for example space allowances for animals. There is a direct link between space per animal and cost of exploitation. Increasing space allowances has an impact on commercial viability. Increase space per animal too much and the economic entreprise may be challenged. The impact of increasing space is not on the middlemen such as transporters for example. No the impact is on the producer (the seller) and on the buyer. Therefore the impact is also on you as a consumer if the costs can be passed on. In the case where costs can not be passed on the commercial viability is challenged and the operation stops.

Everyone looses, except those that oppose animal use.

Exactly the purpose of such initiatives when the aim is to stop animal use or to render animal use more difficult, more complex. Now multiply the initiatives,  fuel them through savy marketing campaigns (use of actors, painting the opponent into the corner as the bad guy, playing with emotions etc), petitions and social media use and you more or less get where we are at now!

In case the initiative does not succeed there is always the option to increase costs through the middlemen, for example by increasing the documentation requirements such as when one needs to obtain permits or certificates. Or to try and include additional species in existing laws, regulations,  directives or appendices.
It all works and victories are loudly proclaimed. In fact a victory is a driver towards new or greater membership contributions or donations. It is their lifeblood.

Are you still surprised to hear animal welfare is no longer popular? And here I have only mentioned the legal activities. Add to the above the continuous harassments, the arson, the threats, the verbal and physical aggressions many have been subjected to (and still are), the hokum, the disclosing of private life details and the list goes on to get to the full picture of why animal welfare is no longer popular. Because of all of this animal welfare has been brought into disrepute!

Another victory for  minorities that proclaim to speak and act on behalf of animals? Or a loss for us - a silent majority - that are waiting for cures, searching to feed the planet or trying to run a legal business in research, conservation, agriculture, clothing, entertainment, cosmetics or healthcare?

Remember Animal Research Saves Lives of Animals and Humans Alike !

Image copyright and courtesy of speakingofresearch.com

Since I don't like to leave you on a negative note, here's a positive story about a potential drug , Alzheimers new brain cell connections and rats.

Image courtesy of researchsaves.org



50 entries is a landmark

For those of you that have read me since April of this year, you will have read 50 blog entries. I think it is a landmark I should underline. What better way to underline animal research by showing you that we too care about animals.  

This Birds of paradise video is part and parcel of a joint project between two well known and respected entities: National Geographic and Audubon. Here's how Cornell's lab of ornithology describes it:

The Most Decorated Birds on the Planet

This fall, we invite you to experience the Birds-of-Paradise Project through dazzling photos and video from Cornell Lab scientist Ed Scholes and National Geographic photographer Tim Laman. During an eight-year quest, they captured images of all 39 species for the first time. This fall, they will share their story as part of a National Geographic Society-wide effort in collaboration with the Cornell Lab.

The video is just the tip of the iceberg—this fall, the Birds-of-Paradise Project will go public with a gorgeous coffee-table book copublished by National Geographic and the Cornell Lab (available for preorder), a major exhibit at the National Geographic Museum, a TV documentary on Thanksgiving Day, articles in Living Bird and National Geographic magazines, and a North American lecture tour.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a membership institution dedicated to interpreting and conserving the earth’s biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds. Visit the Cornell Lab’s website at http://www.birds.cornell.edu.

Copyright © 2012 Cornell Lab of Ornithology, All rights reserved.

Actually there are many of us reading, writing about or working in animal research and this in no way precludes liking, loving or caring about animals and humans alike! If you agree with me, don't forget to sign my petition and to ask your colleagues , friends and relatives to do so too!  Remember that if you stop animal research, who will stop the real killers??


Support medical advancement through animal research!

You can make a difference. A huge difference.

The difference between remaining silent or to voice your opinion.

To cast a vote towards medical advancement through science and animal research. Support the tools that are at our disposal.

To support those that day in day out are looking for cures, for treatments, drugs or vaccines and that are improving the lives of millions of us, including animals. Perhaps a close relative of yours or yourself.

Show your support and sign my petition.

Help spread the word.




Image courtesy of Foundation for Biomedical Research


AUTISM needs YOU and Research

Some people have disabilities, like autism for example. The lives of those affected aren't easy. Not for them and not for their families.

But you can make a difference. You can make sure there is healthcare coverage for those affected. You can make sure research is funded. You can make sure families get help because as with many disabilities help is needed. To those of you involved in translational research and advancing medical science I say thank you.

We should all know that research helps too. As is the case with translational research. AUTISM SPEAKS is looking for postdoctoral fellowships in translational research. Here's how the need is defined:
Autism Speaks is pleased to announce the third year of its postdoctoral fellowships in translational research. This program supports promising and well-qualified postdoctoral scientists pursuing training in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) translational research. We invite applicants from public or private institutions working in preclinical or clinical research arenas. Successful applicants will detail a project that bridges basic laboratory research and behavioral or biomedical clinical research, with a training plan that includes mentoring in both basic and clinical research environments.
We encourage “bench-to-bedside” approaches that delineate a path from preclinical models of ASD to well-defined patient populations, as well as “back-translational” projects that enrich the skills of behaviorists and clinicians through basic research on ASD biology and mechanisms of therapeutic intervention. The results should have the potential to promote preclinical or clinical trials that improve outcomes for individuals with autism.
More details and instructions for applying can be found in the RFA here.
One child in 88 is linked to autism.There are other disabilities linked to the brain.  Add those affected to the 88 and you will start to get the picture of those that one day may get a cure. I am not against saving non human primates nor against the use of  animals in research. I support those that are looking for cures.