Death of a Hero who saved many lives! Yours??

There is a lot going on at the end of this Mowember month.

I'd like to start by mentioning the death of a hero - Dr. Joseph E. Murray- for a hero to mankind he was and he will sorely be missed. Even though most of us have never met him, his legacy will continue to serve numerous generations and every individual that has benefited of organ transplants.


Here's what Jacquie Calnan, president of Americans for Medical Progress has to say about him

Dr. Joseph E. Murray April 1, 1919 - November 26, 2012

Many of you will have already read of the passing of the surgeon who performed the first kidney transplant from a living donor, Dr. Joseph E. Murray, who was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1990 for his work in transplant research. Several links to articles follow.

A personal word, if I may.

As someone who conducted research with animals to unravel the mystery of organ rejection, Dr. Murray embraced AMP's mission wholeheartedly. He served on our Board of Directors for a quarter of a century, until his death this Monday. In the 1990s I was privileged to facilitate the publication of articles he wrote on the necessary use of animals in research for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times and other newspapers. I learned that he was as precise and exacting with words as he was with a scalpel.

Despite his Nobel Prize and many other honors, Dr. Joe, as he asked to be called, was a humble man devoted to his family, medicine and his faith. In a statement released Monday night his son said that his father kept on his desk a quotation: Difficulties are Opportunities. Rick Murray said, "It reflects the unwavering optimism of a great man who was generous, curious, and always humble."

He is survived by his wife, Virginia 'Bobby' Murray, six children and 18 grandchildren.

We shall miss his sharp surgeon's mind, his passion for medicine, and his generous, caring heart.

Farewell, Dr. Joe.

Here are a few links to articles about the life and research of Joseph E. Murray, MD

Obituaries and Remembrances:
Boston Globe also here
Harvard Health Blog
New York Times
Associated Press
The Guardian

Source: Americans for Medical Progress

It is also high time to report on the online petition I launched a while ago:
we are now a growing community of over 400 supporters whom have signed on in support of medical advancement through science and animal research. Signatures are coming from all over the world and countries include Italy, USA, France, UK, Australia, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mauritius, Belgium, G.D. Luxemburg, Spain, India and many more. When signing the petition you will see regular updates.
The comments left are living testimony to the work done by researchers, medical doctors, surgeons and to all of those that in any way help save, or have been saved by, others including those working in laboratories, in pharmaceutical companies.

The petition will not be sent to anyone. It is there to be used to show there is support from the general public to medical progress through science and animal research.
If you want to read or pass on the original post in which the petition appeared click here.

I also want to mention and ask you to support an important initiative by the US Foundation of Biomedical Research that seeks compelling stories to tell from people like you for the  'Bench to Bedside' TV series (aired on ABC). To read the full story and what they are looking for specifically please follow this link.
We have all benefited of medical progress and animal research continues to contribute to saving lives. Those involved or saved have a story to tell as do those that are waiting for a cure or a life saving treatment. Please share it with your friends and colleagues.

Finally progress is always around the corner and this time I'd like to point to an article involving research by the University of Cambridge on dogs and spinal cord regeneration. Researchers have shown it is possible to restore co-ordinated limb movement in dogs with severe spinal cord injury (SCI).
An important breakthrough for those paralyzed.
Read it in english here and in french here.

Last but not least here's an interesting web site called  Xplore health where you can download educational materials for use in the classroom with kids or watch videos to discover the latest on health research. Available in several languages (Spanish, French, Polish, Catalan).



Toxins, Venoms and jellyfish

Toxins and Venoms - BrainFacts.org

Jellyfish-inspired device that captures cancer cells from blood samples could enable better patient monitoring (source sciencedaily)

Two articles that point to animal research and how such research can lead to improving lives or medical progress.

Did I mention before how important medical progress is to many of us? I think so but just in case you had forgotten about voicing your choice, do sign the online petition that supports medical advancement through science and animal research. Our online community does make a difference and there are many positive comments from people that value the work done by the research community through animal research in the search for cures and improving life.


You can now follow me on twitter (ERaemdonck) and on facebook under advancing animal research.

Remember as the Algerian Author Jasmina Khadra says, without the work done by previous generations we would not be where we are today! Lahi sahel.

Hope you'll enjoy the reads above! 


The undemocratic but humane society

I wrote about how necessary animal research is towards medical progress, how at some point our worldwide societies are confronted with new diseases, pandemics etc. and how there are so many questions that need answers. Writing remains easy. Sometimes though listening to others can help us advance. Moving forward through action rather than words is what many prefer and action there is. Much of it through medling and being present there where you and I can not vote nor exert influence except for here on a web page.

Here's an article about Ebola and the Reston Virus that affects primates but not these Asian Orang-Utans. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn22465-orangutans-infected-by-mystery-ebolalike-virus.html
This kind of work is also animal research.

 And then you have people such as the HSUS and affiliated HSI that through clout affiliations and partnership impose their views on society through the back door. Not one of them has been elected, they are not part of the democratic process, yet their views and opinions are present in legislative proposals, in boardrooms, the US Congress , the United Nations and their influence leans on work by civil servants that are in favor of their views. Here is an excerpt of one such view and statement published on their web pages
(source : http://www.hsi.org/issues/chemical_product_testing/qa/troy_seidle_qa.html). Is this an example of a balanced debate? Is this what one calls positive change ? Who of you has voted for this?

One can only assume that those that suffer from HIV, Ebola or tuberculose or whatever other disease, malfunction or disorder will just have to fend for themselves once these extremists have eradicated any animal use (wool, fur, food, pharma, entertainment, conservation, re-introduction, etc).

Q: Where do you see animal testing headed over the next 10 years?

A: Towards extinction! The move to embrace “21st century” non-animal safety testing continues to gain momentum and has officially gone global. It’s already possible, for one-fifth the cost of a single animal cancer test, to screen up to 1,000 chemicals in 200 different robot-automated cell or gene tests in as little as 2 weeks.
In the face of these incredible gains in terms of cost, efficiency, and more human-relevant test results, coupled with the law-changing clout of organizations like HSI, I have every confidence in our ability to replace most, if not all, animal testing by 2025.

Q: Who are your heroes/heroines and why?

A: Many of the people I most respect and admire won’t be anyone you’ve heard of. They’re not high-profile politicians, celebrities or campaign figureheads, but the many hard-working political assistants, civil servants, company scientists, and others who work tirelessly behind-the-scenes to advance more humane and relevant approaches to testing and research for the betterment of both animal and human welfare.