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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 3:47 pm UTC
by Izawwlgood
CorruptUser wrote:Back to the topic, it doesn't really matter to me that animals were bred just for the purpose of science. It comes down to, 'is this a good use of our resources?'.
I don't fully understand the question; by 'good use of our resources', do you mean 'is science a good use of our resources'? Because a lot of science cannot happen without animal models. Or are you asking if we can do the research less expensively, both in terms of animal life and cost of maintaining that animal life?

CorruptUser wrote:For $20 I can get you a gold plated toilet seat for the proletariat. A gram of gold is like $50, which becomes 1 square meter of gilding, which can cover, what, 5 toilet seats?
I suppose I invalidated my entire point by using the word 'plated' instead of 'solid'

Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 4:16 pm UTC
by Princess Marzipan
Wake me up when technology can force gases to sustain a shape without the need for a physical container, and we can make toilet seats out of chlorine.

Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 4:22 pm UTC
by Fire Brns
sardia wrote:You're telling me you prefer how silver tarnishes compares to the lush green that copper gets?
If you can get the copper a nice green. Otherwise it's less noticeable until you can polish it. But a rich person can just plate it in rhodium.

Izawwlgood wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:For $20 I can get you a gold plated toilet seat for the proletariat. A gram of gold is like $50, which becomes 1 square meter of gilding, which can cover, what, 5 toilet seats?
I suppose I invalidated my entire point by using the word 'plated' instead of 'solid'
You'd sprain your wrist trying to lift it. Unless you had a personal toilet seat cover lifting butler.

Princess Marzipan wrote:and we can make toilet seats out of chlorine.
The chemical burns, so many chemical burns...

Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 4:27 pm UTC
by Princess Marzipan
Are you really going to let some piddly little chemical burns get in the way of Science?

Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 4:48 pm UTC
by Izawwlgood
Or pooping?

Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:07 pm UTC
by CorruptUser
Izawwlgood wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Back to the topic, it doesn't really matter to me that animals were bred just for the purpose of science. It comes down to, 'is this a good use of our resources?'.
I don't fully understand the question; by 'good use of our resources', do you mean 'is science a good use of our resources'? Because a lot of science cannot happen without animal models. Or are you asking if we can do the research less expensively, both in terms of animal life and cost of maintaining that animal life?


I believe the main question we should be asking when evaluating any potential experiment is whether it is efficient, and yes, how we can do the testing more efficiently (both in terms of monetary cost and any suffering involved). Bashing in rabbit skulls to test the malleability of crowbars is probably a waste of grant money. Breeding rats with mutated genes and biopsing their nervous tissue to determine how their brains develop, while disgusting, is probably a good use of grant money.

That is not to say that the ethical question shouldn't be asked at all. It does become an interesting question when you try to determine the value of an animal's utility. For example, 'if process X can be done for $100 cheaper but it involves bashing in an extra 5 rabbit skulls is it worth it?'. I'm certainly willing to pay a penny to prevent 100 rabbits from bred just to have their skulls bashed in, but I wouldn't pay $1m to save one rabbit. The rest is negotiation.

Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:25 pm UTC
by Izawwlgood
CorruptUser wrote:The rest is negotiation.
Sure, and I think it's important to realize that A ) people may disagree on what's an acceptable cost both in terms of animal suffering and dollars, B ) breaking into a lab and destroying the experiments is not acceptable, and C ) arguing about the utility of the research requires more than a modicum of knowledge about the field/science/goals.

Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:41 pm UTC
by CorruptUser
Oh I agree on all those points. I just think that the people arguing for the higher costs should have to pay some part of that cost. Because it's all too easy to say an animal is worth $5000 of someone else's money.

Just as in virtually everything else, if you make people pay themselves rather than force everyone else to pay on their behalf, suddenly they sing a different tune.

Spoiler:
What really bothered me a few years back was a case in Florida. A family was on Medicaid, and had an infant that was missing a pair of chromosomes or something. It was about as alive as a mushroom. The hospital had already spent $2m on life support, and was pulling the plug. The family started screaming bloody murder, saying the greedy hospital was killing their precious Cletus the Fetus. Of course, they were demanding that everyone else pay more taxes, cut back on their own lives, all the doctors and nurses wasting time, because they didn't have to pay. But a lot more lives could've been saved with that $2m than just a single lump of flesh that had never been conscious. If you want to know why the US spends more per capita on healthcare than any other major country yet has mediocre care, that's why. I doubt France would've paid for any of that.

Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:53 pm UTC
by Izawwlgood
Which is a funny point; I remember an article about how France's health care system provides postpartum psychotherapy and vaginal exercise trainers, after discovering that the investment of assigning women a therapist and a personal trainer is vastly cheaper than the costs associated with postpartum depression and recovery. There's a brass tax argument to be made for a lot of things when you look at medicine or research on a macro level. Which is, again, why I found this to be such a frustrating event; protesters rescue approximately a hundred ish lab animals, and destroy the research projects of a handful to a dozen graduate students, potentially destroying the careers of a couple of scientists, and set back the field.

But, anyway, I place the value of animal life quite low, and at least some of the imperative to reduce suffering as a cost/requirement/effort to be undertaken by humans *for* humans; it takes a type of person I'd rather not associate with to be comfortable causing 'unnecessary' suffering to animals. I'm a fan of scientists remembering that the pursuit of knowledge is noble and grand and dandy, but that we are empathetic social creatures who are ultimately trying to improve the lives of other empathetic social creatures.
EDIT: Mind you, me setting the value of animal life low is by no means a suggestion that we should disregard animal life. 'Value' here is a fuzzy term.

Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 6:21 pm UTC
by Yoshisummons
No way does copper look better, the Statue of Liberty has just a better marketing team.

OT: Sad thing to see people take decisive actions that do nothing but hinder the dialogue.

Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Posted: Thu May 02, 2013 4:37 am UTC
by Mambrino
Since I've been occasionally following the on-going discussion (on animal testing) in this thread, I found this particular piece of news uncannily funny.

Nature: Major breakthrough in ageing research.

http://www.nature.com/news/molecules-in ... ng-1.12891

Molecules in the brain trigger ageing

Activity in the hypothalamus affects cognitive and physical decline.

The area of the brain that controls growth, reproduction and metabolism also kick-starts ageing, according to a study published today in Nature1. The finding could lead to new treatments for age-related illnesses, helping people to live longer.

Dongsheng Cai, a physiologist at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, and his colleagues tracked the activity of NF-κB — a molecule that controls DNA transcription and is involved in inflammation and the body's response to stress — in the brains of mice. They found that the molecule becomes more active in the brain area called the hypothalamus as a mouse grows older.

(...)

The research “is certainly worth a lot of additional attention”, says [Richard Miller, a pathologist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor]. He thinks that Cai's study will stimulate research into treatments for slowing down age-related illnesses that are linked to inflammation, such as arthritis, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.


Emphasised words by me.