Top Ten Tax-Funded Bizarre Experiments
We've heard plenty of stories in the last few days of tax dollars funding lavish Las Vegas vacations for government agencies and prostitution scandals in the Secret Service. But these are all peanuts compared to the amount of your money being dished out for weird vivisection experiments.
In Defense of Animals has produced its Top Ten list of 'most ridiculous' research projects. Here's a summary:
10: A grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal
and Skin Diseases to study what happens when you inject rats' knees with a
substance that causes arthritis.
9. Two grants from the National Institute of Mental Health for an study
of anxiety. The 'scientists' put rats in an open space with nowhere to hide
and then did things to traumatize them.
8. Three grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to study
family relationships in prairie voles.
7. Three grants from the National Institutes of Health to see the effect
on the sex lives of hamsters when you put them on a diet.
6. Two grants from the National Institute on Deafness and Other
Communications Disorders to see what happens if you cut some nerves that
connect taste buds to the brain and leave the bitter-taste nerves intact.
This involves slitting the throats of rats and puncturing their eardrums to
reach the nerves.
5. A K12 career development grant to the Yerkes National Primate Research
Center to see whether empathy makes chimpanzees more likely to catch a yawn
from familiar chimpanzees than strangers.
4. Two grants from the National Institute on Deafness and Other
Communication Disorders to study alligator voices. At the University of
Utah, they implanted pressure sensors in the tracheas of young alligators
and ran a cable through their throats, fixing it to their upper jaws with
3. Two grants from the National Institute of Mental Health to several
laboratories to discover whether marmosets can become sexually aroused
through association with a particular scent, e.g. lemons.
2. Two grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to Albany Medical
College to see how drug use affects the musical preferences of rats. Rats
who preferred Beethoven's "Fur Elise" over Miles Davis's "Four" and
preferred silence over any music at all were given cocaine at the same time
as their least preferred options.
1. And the Number One ridiculous, painful, stressful, expensive, bizarre
experiment performed on animals with your tax dollars: Seven grants from the
National Institutes of Health to study the effects of keeping animals in
Researchers at Tulane National Primate Research Center acknowledged that
daily uncontrollable stress is a basic part of an animal's life in a
laboratory, regardless even of which experiments are performed on them. In
their words: "It is widely accepted that procedures that are performed as
part of routine husbandry have the potential to affect both physiological
and behavioral parameters that are associated with stress."