Wednesday, November 22

Animal rights group claims UCLA non-compliant with policies


The original version of this article contained an error and information that was unclear and has been changed. See the bottom of the article for additional information.

Six documents recently obtained by an animal rights organization state that UCLA did not comply with its health policies regarding animal testing.

The documents include reports of 10 incidents of “non-compliance” and one incident of “serious deviation” sent to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare, by Dr. James S. Economou, UCLA vice chancellor for research. Stop Animal Exploitation Now received the reports through the Freedom of Information Act and sent them to the Daily Bruin this week.

The documents state that UCLA deprived animals, including fish, mice, rats and birds, of food and water without proper approval and used unapproved euthanization methods, among other things.

According to one document, a principal investigator at UCLA conducted experiments without providing enough water to animals.

The investigator allegedly began his experiments without approval from the Animal Research Committee,  an independent research review committee, because the approval process took too long. He said he would stop his experiment if told to do so.

None of the reports resulted in fines or penalties to the university.

“There is a clear ethical objection to such conduct,” said Julia Orr, communications director for Stop Animal Exploitation Now.

UCLA spokesman Steve Ritea said in a statement that UCLA identified and proactively reported the incidents and that it takes all non-compliance issues seriously.

The Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare agreed with UCLA’s course of action in all alleged cases of misconduct.

Animal rights activists are working to gather signatures for a petition, which has garnered more than 4,000 signatures since its release in December. The petition was created after a lawsuit against the university that called for UCLA to release documents surrounding its use of animals in research.

Ritea said UCLA has a long history with activists committing violent acts against UCLA researchers, including vandalization of property, sending threatening messages to researchers and bombings. The university said it will not provide documents on its animal research to the group or respond to the petition to protect its researchers.

The activists at the organization claimed they are not connected to any of these violent acts.

If it received documents from UCLA, the organization said that the identities of any researchers and locations of UCLA animal testing could be redacted.

Jeff Pierce, an Animal Legal Defense Fund lawyer heading the lawsuit, said he thinks the organization and UCLA can both reach a settlement.

“UCLA believes that the public interest is greater in protecting researchers than in sharing public records with my client,” Pierce said. “I believe both are possible.”

David Jentsch, a psychology professor who conducts neurological and addiction experiments on monkeys, said his research is humane.

The experiments Jentsch runs involve exposing monkeys to methamphetamine and documenting changes in molecular and brain structure via imaging. Jentsch said the withdrawal effects of methamphetamine on the animals are minimal. He later euthanizes the monkeys to do a more direct examination of the brain.

Jentsch said the main source of pain from addiction comes in the form of emotional distress – such as the loss of family and friends from drug addiction – which monkeys don’t experience to the same degree as humans.

Although Jentsch said the benefits in bringing his research findings to the human population are slow, the long-term benefits could be substantial. He said he believes he has discovered a molecular change in the addicted brain that directly causes loss of control over one’s behavior, and that his addiction experiments could lead to a breakthrough in addiction treatment.

Dr. Murray Cohen, a psychiatrist and affiliate of Stop Animal Exploitation Now said 99 percent of animal experiments don’t carry over to humans, and that Dr. Jentch’s model can at best make claims on drug dependence rather than the more complicated issue of human drug addiction.

“It is literally impossible to know if animal experimentation results predict human responses,” Cohen said. “The only way to know is to do the experiment on humans, and then why do animal experimentation in the first place?”

Jentsch said non-human primates have brains that are organized and function in a way remarkably similar to the human brain and they share many, but not all human behavioral characteristics and neurobiology. Thus, his experiments serve as probabilistic approximations that get us closer to understanding humans than do rat or mouse models.

Bob Ingersoll, a primatologist and affiliate of Stop Animal Exploitation Now, said the use of monkeys in animal experimentation is outdated. He cites the retirement of most chimpanzees from the National Institute of Health and Harvard Medical School, which is permanently closing its primate research center in response to public opinion.

“(Jentsch is) aggressively entrenched in research methodologies that are on the back side of time,” Ingersoll said. “If he insists on being the last slave owner, the last holdout of this kind of research, that’s kind of a public relations nightmare for UCLA.”

So far no determinations have been made in the lawsuit.

Correction: The previous version of this article contained unverified information regarding protests aimed at animal researchers. One document indicated that a principal investigator at UCLA allegedly began his experiments without approval from the Animal Research Committee because the approval process took too long, but said he would stop his experiment if told to do so.

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  • PTfS

    This story details the activities of an animal rights group called Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN) that has been involved in a more than one decade long effort to mislead the public about the nature of ground-breaking and life-saving biomedical research going on at UCLA.

    The article begins with noting that SAEN has obtained records from the federal government indicating that a small number of problems with animal research have occurred at UCLA over the past years. The reason they were able to obtain these records is because UCLA promptly identified the problems, corrected them and reported them as required by law. The group misleads the public by claiming that these events are representative of research programs at UCLA, are anything other than rare or are considered to be unimportant.

    Obviously, the case described in the Daily Bruin story is wholly unacceptable, and while I do not know all the facts of the case, I categorically condemn any activities that have violated policies on animal research (whether those be the federal regulations or UCLA’s own very high standards). If a researcher is found to be conducting activities that harm animal welfare and defy the regulations, I believe their research activities should be stopped. I have no sympathy for any reasoning as to why any one investigator decided to violate the rules.

    Why? Because when a small group breaks the social trust, they harm the rest of us who are working hard to ensure that we uphold social expectations on the conduct of research. My own laboratory’s work has never been the subject of such a problem, nor have those of virtually any of my colleagues that I work with on a regular basis.

    When one investigator steps outside the bounds, s/he gives fodder to animal rights groups that attempt to, in turn, malign all of us. When they do, they directly contribute to the anger and vitriol of the hateful and
    deranged activists who march outside of my home on a regular basis.

    Meeting social requirements to conduct humane animal research in a responsible manner is not the ceiling: it’s the floor. We should be looking for all researchers to go well beyond simply meeting minimum standards and to never once find themselves in a situation where they fall short of the target of maintaining an exceptional record of compliance with statutes.

    Once again, I condemn any actions undertaken by researchers at UCLA or elsewhere that intentionally violate the standards set by the American public when it decided that regulated and limited animal research is a social good that is moral and justifiable. The single most effective action that any researcher can do to ensure that societal support for research continues is to avoid these situations.

    J. David Jentsch, Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences

    • StrangerInAStrangeLand1

      Standards. What a pristine word. I wonder how your “standards” feel to a sentient being, the research animals you and your ilk conduct experiments on, who are tortured on a daily basis and then killed with no mercy.

  • PC

    Murray Cohen is aggressively pulling statistics out of his ass. 99% don’t carry over to human studies? Animal studies have a non-perfect but still-respectable relevance to humans. Don’t believe his lies. Any animal “activist” will spout some unsubstantiated statistic ranging from 30%-99%, but those values are just pulled out of thin air.

  • no_animal_testing

    It is well known that nonhuman primates are sensitive, intelligent beings who share many important biological and psychological characteristics with humans, but Jentsch claims that the main source of pain from addiction comes in the form of emotional distress – such as the loss of family and friends from drug addiction – which monkeys don’t experience to the same degree as humans. HUH?

    The fact remains that babies born in laboratories are taken from screaming heartbroken mothers and permanently separated from them or abducted in the wild. The hunters target the babies, who cling, panic-stricken, to their mothers’ bodies. This happens when no one has violated policies on animal research!

    The animals are packed into tiny crates with little to no food or water and are taken to filthy holding centers, where they await long and terrifying trips in the cargo hold of airlines and many die on the way.

    I don’t care if there is some “knowledge” gained that might be useful to humans. I can’t stand to see us treat animals in this way. There are alternatives in 2014. I believe that vivisectors do it for the money and the grants and the “fun” of science. The money could be spent helping humans now through social programs and rehabilitation.

  • MurryCohen

    We were told to be nice. PC’s nasty comment shows that he is unable to act respectfully.

    Dr. Jentsch answers some of the criticisms of animal welfare matters in his lab, but he doesn’t address the questions of the validity, or usefulness, or propriety, or accuracy of his research.

    With regard to the findings of animal experimentation: How many useful drugs were found in the 40-year, animal research-based War on Cancer? Answer: NONE. How many useful drugs or vaccines were found for HIV/AIDS in the 25 or so years using chimpanzees as “animal models”? Answer: NONE. How many useful drugs were discovered to treat stroke using “animal models” of human stroke? Answer: NONE. Did causing mice to smoke show that smoking causes cancer in humans? Answer: NO. Did doing sepsis experiments on mice contribute to the understanding or treatment of human sepsis? Answer: NO. Were guinea pigs available to Alexander Fleming after he discovered penicillin, would they have shown that penicillin helps humans? Answer: NO….because penicillin is toxic to guinea pigs. Did animal testing protect humans from the devastating effects of Thalidomide? Answer: NO. Did animal testing prevent humans from dying after taking Phen-Fen? Answer: NO. Would aspirin have passed animal testing had it been tested on dogs? Answer: NO…..it is toxic to dogs. So much for the contributions of animal testing or experimentation.

    • PC

      Where are your sources? How do you know that animal testing didn’t contribute to new stroke drugs, or any drug? You’re trying to argue that just because animal testing didn’t find the magic bullet cure yet, that it’s worthless. It’s a fallacious “argument from imperfection” that creationists also love to employ. The basic premise is this: “This thing didn’t 100% perfectly fix x disorder, therefore everything involved with this thing is worthless”. Science does not work through miracles, but through rigorous and slow testing and retesting. Ideas and potential therapeutic avenues are built from previous research results, and further investigation takes time. Further, pretty much every effective drug on the market has been initially tested on animals. Here’s just one of many examples that started out in animal testing and is now a blockbuster drug that saves lives every year:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statin_development

      I’m more than happy to change my stance if you provided a credible source for anything you’re claiming, but as you haven’t linked anything credible (and no, your personal opinion pieces are not actual peer-reviewed data-driven studies) then one is forced to conclude you’re pulling numbers out of your ass. I and other scientists are waiting, and have been waiting, for decades for sources on these numbers.

      • PTfS

        There are no sources for his statements because they are entirely and completely lies. They are not mistakes. They are lies.

        Like almost all scientists, I defend the impact of my work every time I submit a grant, everytime I give a talk at international scientific societies and everytime I submit a paper for publication in a scientific journal. If my scientific ideas are wrong, they are rejected. When they are compelling, they are accepted.

        The difference is that those opposed to animal research are not subject to peer review and scrutiny. Comments like those above have the benefit of never having to stand up to scrutiny to be aired, so the tendency to lie is reinforced.

      • sailorferrets

        Wikipedia does not a source make.

  • MurryCohen

    It’s a little dated, but still relevant. In 1990 Dr. Weibers (neurologist) analyzed the “treatments” for stroke that years of animal experimentation produced. Not a single one worked in humans. Furthermore, 80%
    of drugs that do pass animal testing don’t work in humans. Pure chance would produce better results. Forget about magic bullets—there are none, and I don’t believe in them). Sure, every now and then, the pseudoscience of vivisection does find something. But then, a broken watch tells the correct time twice as
    day. Exchanging anecdotes is pointless. As a methodology, vivisection is not science. Science is predictive, and any finding in animals cannot EVER predict what will happen in humans. Also, science requires replication. This can’t ever be done because the artificial disease produced in animals has, most often, nothing whatsoever to do with the naturalistic disease found in humans. Vivisection is not merely imperfect; it is, essentially, worthless. I agree that science works through small steps at a time. The problem is that vivisection’s small steps lead in the wrong direction. Sure, every drug has been tested on animals. So what? That happens because it is legally and administratively required, not because it is scientific worthwhile. In fact, in the Physicians’ Desk Reference, under every drug listed, it is said that
    results of animal testing should not be assumed to apply to humans. That’s what drug developers and
    salespeople say. Even PC’s own example of statins (which he didn’t pull out of his ass, as he quoted Wikipedia) disproves his position. Early statins were discovered in a flask, not in animals. Only then was animal testing done. As usual, depending on the species, different results were found. In dogs, “long term toxicity….resulted in toxic effects at higher doses and as a result was believed to be too toxic to be given to humans.” But then more test tube testing showed them to be safe in humans. However, a 2007 report noted opposite views from human epidemiological studies and “animal models” with respect to the relationship between monounsaturated fatty acids and atherosclerosis. This is not the forum to “list sources”, but I refer you to the many books of Ray and Jean Greek, whose references from mainstream,
    peer-reviewed journals show that, rather than “pulling it out of my ass”, I am supported by reliable, sound, and scientific data.

    • PC

      I still see no peer-reviewed sources cited. Just more anecdotes. Saying that “Trust me, someone else I know has referenced a reliable source” is not a replacement for…. actually linking the source. The burden of proof is on the accuser to provide evidence.

    • AnOski

      >It’s a little dated, but still relevant. In 1990 Dr. Weibers (neurologist) analyzed the “treatments” for stroke that years of animal experimentation produced. Not a single one worked in humans.

      In all fairness, very few stroke medications actually work. Finding medications that have the desired effect on the human brain is a very tough job. The fact that we were able to test these potential drugs on animals saved countless human lives. Fact.

      >Furthermore, 80% of drugs that do pass animal testing don’t work in humans.

      I thought it was 99%, per the above article. Hm. Even if it is 80% (and that seems like a very unreasonable assumption), I think its time you look in the mirror and say “I volunteer myself for medical testing.” Because once you take the animals out of the equation, that’s what you’re going to have to get people to do.

      That said, nearly all medicines go through extensive animal testing. The primary reason that chimpanzees are being phased out of experiments is that mice, as mammals, are similar enough to humans to be comparable test subjects. That’s why most medical breakthroughs you read about nowadays feature mice.

      Your explanations are simply deceitful. It’s not cool.

      Papers since the start of 2014 featuring the two words “medicine” and “mice” total some 27,000.

      http://scholar.google.com/scholar?as_ylo=2014&q=medicine+mice&hl=en&as_sdt=0,5

      >Pure chance would produce better results.

      A bold lie.

      >Forget about magic bullets—there are none, and I don’t believe in them). Sure, every now and then, the pseudoscience of vivisection does find something. But then, a broken watch tells the correct time twice as
      day. Exchanging anecdotes is pointless.

      Then stop doing it.

      >As a methodology, vivisection is not science. Science is predictive, and any finding in animals cannot EVER predict what will happen in humans.

      You don’t seem to understand the simple fact that a mouse’s DNA is rather similar to a human’s, and that our biological processes are…very similar.

      http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn2352-just-25-of-dna-turns-mice-into-men.html

      These things you’re saying. They’re not true.

      >Also, science requires replication. This can’t ever be done because the artificial disease produced in animals has, most often, nothing whatsoever to do with the naturalistic disease found in humans.

      The origin of a disease has little to do with curing it. And these mice are often infected with things like human cancer cells, in order to provide scientists with comparable pathogens. Pathogens which are thus identical to their human counterparts. On the genetic level.

      >Vivisection is not merely imperfect; it is, essentially, worthless.

      Well, it does help you see something if it’s on the inside of an animal. Until you come up with a better method, I suggest you stop decrying it.

      >I agree that science works through small steps at a time. The problem is that vivisection’s small steps lead in the wrong direction. Sure, every drug has been tested on animals. So what? That happens because it is legally and administratively required, not because it is scientific worthwhile.

      Yes and no. It is legally and administratively required because we don’t know how a compound will react with a human or mammal in general, before testing. You can either test that Alzheimers drug first on a mouse or your mother. If it happens to have unforeseen effects on the ion channels in her brainstem, resulting in her immediate death….well, that’s not really “scientifically” anything, but it’s a tragedy. And animal testing allows us to limit the tragedy to some dead animals.

      And unless you’re vegan and avoid wearing leather, you don’t have a leg to stand on. Are you vegan?

      >In fact, in the Physicians’ Desk Reference, under every drug listed, it is said that results of animal testing should not be assumed to apply to humans. That’s what drug developers and salespeople say.

      Actually, that’s some of the “legally and administratively required” stuff you’ve just cut and pasted to suit your argument.

      Etc., etc., etc.

      You’re being quite misleading, you know.

  • MurryCohen

    There is evidence galore. I’m not going to write a book in this colliquy. I’ve referred you to good sources. Make the effort to read them (with an open mind!!!).

  • BlueDamsel

    This is 2014, right? When are we going to stop the cruel, ridiculous and torturous testing on animals? Everything about the industry screams animal abuse! The only thing is, it’s LEGAL!! If the neighbor down the street did what is being done to animals in labs right now, he’d be arrested for animal abuse! This needs to be addressed, talked about and ideally stopped!!

  • MurryCohen

    The vivisection industry has institutionalized animal cruelty. In the past it was for religious reasons, for societal reasons, for folk-health reasons, and more. The current rational for animal cruelty is “science”. I am all for science, and, as a physician, welcome it. But, unfortunately, it has become the new religion, and the animal researchers are the high priests. Questioning them is like questioning bishops of old. Scientists are supposed to be open to new ideas and new methodologies. Vivisectors are the opposite; they are closed to new ideas and wedded to the quaint and archaic method of vivisection the way astrologers of old were wedded to the idea that the earth was flat, or the way pre-Galilean astronomers were wedded to the idea that the earth is the center of the universe, or the way alchemists were wedded to the idea that metals could be turned into gold, or the way some older gynecologists are wedded to the idea that giving estrogen to postmenopausal women protects them from cancer–the results of animal experiments–when, actually, the reverse is true….estrogen can CAUSE cardiovascular disease in women. Vivisectors are wedded to the almost delusional idea that the anatomies, physiologies, and pathogeneses of nonhuman animals are sufficiently similar to humans to make generalization of results valid. Vivisectors need to become TRUE scientists by welcoming improved scientific methods and abandoning a 150 year old approach, just as (some) scientists in other areas welcome new ideas. MAYBE vivisection was once the best we had, but times have changed, and vivisectors need to change with them.

  • Jack Carone

    I protested UCLA’s grotesque animal abuse-for profit all through the 80′s. They gave the same excuses then as now, the same false promises of “cures”, but all the major diseases they claimed they had to torment animals to conquer are as bad or worse now. As a prominent opponent of the false science of vivisection said back then, ” if you paid someone to paint your house, and came outside 30 years later and found the house still not painted, wouldn’t you think that maybe he was using the wrong brush?”

  • Horse83

    “Since there is no way to defend the use of animal model systems in plain English or with scientific facts, they resort to double-talk in technical jargon…The virtue of animal model systems to those in hot pursuit of the federal dollar is that they can be used to prove anything–no matter how foolish, or false, or
    dangerous this might be. There is such a wide variation in the results of animal model systems that there is always some system which will “prove” a point….The moral is that animal model systems not only kill animals, they also kill humans. There is no good factual evidence to show that the use of animals in cancer research has led to the prevention or cure of a single human cancer.” – Dr. D.J. Bross, Ph.D., former director of the Sloan-Kettering Institute, then Director of Biostatics, Roswell Memorial Institute

    “Practically all animal experiments are untenable on a statistical scientific basis, for they possess no scientific validity or reliability. They merely perform an alibi for pharmaceutical companies, who hope to protect themselves thereby.” – Herbert Stiller, M.D. & Margot Stiller M.D.

    “I have studied the question of vivisection for thirty-five years and am convinced that experiments on living
    animals are leading medicine further and further from the real cure of the patient… I know of no instance of animal experiment that has been necessary for the advance of medical science, still less do I know of any animal experiment that could conceivably be necessary to save human life.” – H. Fergie Woods, M.D.

    “What good does it do you to test something [a vaccine] in a monkey? You find five or six years from now that it works in the monkey, and then you test it in humans and you realize that humans behave totally differently from monkeys, so you’ve wasted five years.” – Dr. Mark Feinberg

    “Giving cancer to laboratory animals has not and will not help us to understand the disease or to treat those persons suffering from it.” – Albert Sabin, M.D., developer of the live-virus polio vaccine

    “The reason why I am against animal research is because it doesn’t work, it has no scientific value and every good scientist knows that.” – Dr. Robert Mendelsohn, M.D.

    “Animal model systems differ from their human counterparts. Conclusions drawn from animal research, when applied to human beings, are likely to delay progress, mislead, and do harm to the patient. Vivisection, or animal experimentation, should be abolished.” – Dr. Moneim Fadali, M.D.

    “Why am I against vivisection? The most important reason is because it’s bad science, producing a
    lot of misleading and confusing data which pose hazards to human health. It’s also a waste of taxpayer’s
    dollars to take healthy animals and artificially and violently induce diseases in them that they normally wouldn’t get, or which occur in different form, when we already have the sick people who can be studied while they’re being treated.” – Dr. Roy Kupsinel, M.D.

    “Vivisection has done little for the art of the doctor at the bedside, but it has done immeasurable harm to the character and mind of the rising generation of doctors.” – Dr. Rudolph Hammer, LLD

    Etc., etc., etc.

  • rosyrobyn

    Gabor Mate’s groundbreaking work “In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts” correctly identifies stresses in utero and in the earliest years of life as the origin of drug addiction. Addicting innocent monkeys to drugs, then killing them to study their brains will NEVER address human addiction.

    Further, the medical industry is an industry. As such, it is conservative in that it seeks to self-perpetuate. Looking at psych and social causes of addiction, looking at any thing new for that matter, threatens medical funding and careers…in the same way that the medical industry spends a lot of money and energy on “cures”, and very little on prevention of human conditions and diseases.

  • MurryCohen

    As you can see, many prominent physicians and other clinicians have written about the pseudoscientific nature of vivisection. These individuals have nothing personally to gain. Their motivation is strictly concern for human welfare, and, of course, concern for animal abuse and suffering and for the environment. On the other hand, vivisectors cannot be objective as their careers and income are on the line. Most vivisectors are not M.D.’s, but rather are Ph.D.’s and veterinarians (and a few dentists). After a point in their careers, not being clinicians, they can only perform vivisection. Their families’ welfare depends on their performing vivisection. They are well paid with taxpayers’ dollars. They make names for themselves, and their universities and hospitals EXPECT them to continue to perform vivisection. Since the medical centers they work for depend on the grant money (i.e., taxpayers’ dollars) to balance their budgets, they are pressured from all directions to continue to perform vivisection. The “publish or perish” mentality assures that they will continue to perform vivisection, and, as a threat to their sell-being, they will resist and oppose new technologies and methodologies that are vastly superior to vivisection, even though they are “scientists” who are supposed to be open to new and superior techniques. Their grants are “peer reviewed”, but the reviewers are fellow vivisectors, whose grants will, in turn, be reviewed by the vivisectors whose grants THEY previously approved. It is a self-perpetuating farce, and, because of it, the science required to result in progress in human health is retarded, animals suffer horrendously, and taxpayers’ dollars are wasted. They will always defend their research not by (truthfully) saying that this or that advance in human health came from vivisection, but rather that their research MAY, SOMEDAY, POSSIBLY result in human health advancement. Is THIS what we are supposed to spend money on, rather than on subsidizing ALREADY AVAILABLE treatments which most, other than the wealthy, cannot afford? Why look for new treatments, with a seriously flawed methodology, when treatments already available cannot be afforded? The tax paying American public, whose health is declining, deserves better than this.

  • Julia MacKenzie

    David Jentsch’s first priority in any discussion is to obfuscate and dance around the actual issue reported on. Jentsch’s and his fellow “researchers” experiments involve addicting monkeys to recreational drugs in the hopes that on some distant planet somewhere a cure will be found. Lets not hold our breath. Meanwhile, millions of taxpayer’s dollars are spent in this futile quest to keep Jentsch and his cohorts in their million dollar lifestyles they so aggressively cling to at the expense of the taxpayers. So, lets suggest a remedy – lets have a public poll and ask the general public if they would like their hard earned money to fund either a) monkey meth labs at UCLA b) education or c) rehab centers for drug addicts.

    On another note, what these documents so clearly show, and clearly stated by UCLA’s own regulatory department, is the researchers arrogant dismissal of any regard for animal welfare regulations. Not just once either but many times. Jentsch and UCLA display just this sort of arrogance regularly in their attempts to hide research protocols, which are a matter of public record, and their outright condescension of anyone daring to question the validity of animal experiments.

  • nicola

    I strongly disagree with testing on animals, they still suffer, get scared & have feeling like humans. We are in the 21st centuary, there should be no reasons to test on animals. Anyone taking part in abusing these animals (because animal experimintation goes against the 5 rights of animals) i consider a very low monster of society.

  • Robin V

    This is a direct quote about the uselessness of animal testing from Dr. Elias Zerhouni of The National Institutes of Health.

    “We have moved away from studying human disease in humans,” he said. “We all drank the Kool-Aid on that one — me included,” he said, adding that with the ability to knock in or knock out any gene in a mouse (which, Zerhouni quipped, “can’t sue us”), researchers have overrelied on animal data.

    “The problem is that it hasn’t worked, and it’s time we stopped dancing around the problem,” he said. “We need to refocus and adapt new methodologies for use in humans to understand disease biology in humans.”

  • tessie

    its not human Stopp it! now!!!!

  • MurryCohen

    One more note in response to PC, who ascribes the discovery of statins–drugs that lower cholesterol– to animal research. It has recently been determined that THREE QUARTERS of patients who take a statin suffer at least mild cognitive impairment….usually memory loss. Was THIS found in animal experiment? Even using the animal closest to us…the chimpanzee…was cognitive impairment found…or even tested for? Even if it were tested for, it would have not been found, because the gross tests to measure chimpanzee cognition have nothing to do with the subtle (but significant) cognitive impairment found in humans. How is this impairment found in humans? By talking to them. Ever try talking to a chimpanzee, or a cat, or a bird, of a mouse? Sure, it can be fun, but did you ever discover that the animal had MEMORY LOSS? Of course not, because such a finding can only be ascertained in humans by neuropsychologically testing them. Another reason why animal testing always fails. You can’t talk to the animals, and, therefore, many more subtle side effects of new drugs go undiscovered. HUMAN TESTING IS ALWAYS NECESSARY. And by human testing I mean simply administering a drug to a person. Since you never know the effect beforehand, every time you give a human a drug, it is a test….a sort of experiment.

  • Ann Stone

    Vivisectors are nothing more than papered sadists.

  • Christopher Locke

    Thank you so much to Nico Correia and the Daily Bruin for
    being brave enough to expose the egregious crimes perpetrated by the UCLA
    vivisectors. As a UCLA alumnus, I am ashamed that the same university that gave
    me such a solid education also conducts heinous experiments on innocent non-human
    animals. Not only is the data that is achieved by these experiments invalid to
    humans, but the more vile aspect is that these experiments are morally wrong.
    In the case of the methamphetamine experiments mentioned in the article,
    addiction to drugs is a human problem – not a monkey problem. To that point, and I
    want to make this very clear, addiction is absolutely an issue that needs to be
    resolved since it destroys so many lives. But, that said, these poor monkeys
    should not be subjected to unimaginable torture to resolve a human condition.
    The same goes for cancer research and so forth. Humans are not more “important”
    than these creatures, and therefore, these creatures should not be sacrificed
    so that humans can find cures to our ailments.

    It is unfathomable to me how these vivisectors can sleep
    soundly at night after what they put these helpless non-human animals through
    during the day. How does a decent human strap down a monkey that is screaming
    for his life, hack open that monkey and then shock him or poke around in his
    insides as he howls in pain? No compassionate human being could perform such
    violent acts without having nightmares or wanting to quit.

    As a final point, I am certain that if any one of these
    vivisectors were trapped in cages and experimented on all day, they would pray
    every single moment to whatever god they believed in that someone would come
    and rescue them. And take this to heart, all of you vivisectors out there, us
    decent folk out here that are speaking on behalf of these monkeys, mice, rats,
    etc., would be just as vocal about rescuing you.

    This unnecessary, cruel torture must end now. These
    magnificent creatures deserve so much better.

  • Vida Jafari

    Just a few weeks ago, a silent vigil was held for the monkeys who are drug-addicted, tortured, killed at UCLA (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiECGuXixmQ). I find the reaction from the vivisectors and their team to be shockingly unprofessional, alarming, and just egregious. My tax dollars go to these people and that is shameful. I can only imagine what countless animals experience in their hands and company.

    Progress for Science returned for another peaceful demonstration for the monkeys– Pro-Test said they would return, but backed down after the University begged them not to (after having likely watched the video). So here is an open letter to UCLA’s vivisectors: http://progressforscience.com/2014/02/17/an-open-letter-to-uclas-vivisectors/

    True progress for science lies in the hands of these vivisectors; they are educated and in positions of power and privilege, though unfortunately, several of these professors use their privilege to cause harm and create tremendous suffering, rather than progress. Many of them conduct research experiments with consenting human beings in addition to animals, further proving that animals are not actually needed in medical research. Vivisection is outdated, a waste of tax dollars, and above all, cruel.