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Science 8 P11

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    Science 8   P11 Science 8 P11 Document Transcript

    • REDBRICK 1312 / 8th JUNE Features 11 Weird Science A day in the life of... Simon Bishop tells us how Testing, testing - The Vice-Chancellor by Michael Sterling one, two, three... ‘weird’ science shapes our lives TIME. It bends, it flies, it Simon Bishop explores the rules never go into much heals and wounds, and, depth, but a random ultimately, it ends. This and regulations of animal testing search of abstracts for is my final Redbrick, but national projects far from this being the ANIMAL testing is a sensi- method can be employed. approved in April 2007 denouement of Weird tive issue, with advocates These stringent policies (available from the Home Science, this is just the for and against using ani- require prior submission Office website) covers end of Chapter One. And mals to further science. of details on what will be research into an under- what a topical chapter it Opponents are known as done, how it will be car- standing of Alzheimer’s, was. much for paroxysm and ried out, why it is neces- brain cancer, depression We told the story of militant action as for sary and how many ani- and anxiety. radiation poisoning, and, polite campaigning and mals will be involved. One such abstract as I sit writing this, the political lobbying. This must be passed by a investigates neurological WHEN I was asked to mation about the lady on the radio news is Consequently, this article panel of scientific experts disorders, which will write this article, I have University’s relation- talking about Russia’s seeks to explore the rea- and then a panel of non- become more problemat- to admit that I didn’t ship with them. We refusal to extradite sons and regulations of scientists, who consider ic in today’s ageing popu- know where to start. No also have someone from Andrei Lugovoi, suspect- animal testing and to look the scientific and ethical lation. Currently, only two days are ever the our Press Office on hand ed of killing the ex-KGB at the benefits of vivisec- worth. It is not unknown crude treatments are same, and I suppose with a camera to record agent Alexander tion. But let us start by to have to convince a available, with many that is one of the things the occasion. Just Litvinenko with poloni- dispelling a campus panel of vicars and adverse side-effects. that I enjoy most about before they arrive, Linda um-210. myth. There are no mon- philosophers as well as Brain-specific stem cells the job. tells me that there are We outlined the case keys living in the base- scientific peers. provide a plausible key to Today starts off some important issues of global warming, and ment of the School of The 1986 Act is a generating new neurons with my normal meeting that need to be dis- in May the Department Biosciences . powerful barrier to in response to injury. with my PA, Linda, when cussed in relation to our of Education was under “Animal models are improper use of animals. Stem cells are fickle, how- we go through any bid to host the hub for judicial review for send- used to study what is just Licences are only granted ever, and require such urgent issues and talk the Energy Technologies ing a copy of Al Gore’s not possible to study in to projects that consider carefully controlled through the busy day Institute, so a confer- An Inconvenient Truth to humans,” explains a the three ‘Rs’: can an ani- microenvironments, or ahead. She is normally ence call has had to be every secondary school. spokesman for the mal model be replaced niches, to differentiate clutching a large pile of arranged for 3.15pm. I The film, which won two school. “Where in humans with an alternative correctly. This can only papers and I can tell can only be available for Oscars, shows Gore pre- we can only observe a methodology? Is the be studied inside an ani- that the email traffic has fifteen minutes as I senting evidence for cli- disease from the outside method refined as much mal. been busy overnight! need to leave for mate change. It is a pow- and ask how it feels, in as possible to minimise By and large, objec- My first appoint- London at 3.30pm. erful piece. Then there mice and other charis- distress? Finally, are the tions are usually raised ment is at 9.15am when 3.30pm arrives and are the nine Live Earth matic model species we numbers of animals in when studies are per- I am meeting Gary we seem to be a long concerts on 7th July. Hughes, President of the way off finishing the Climate change is not Guild, to talk through a call and I am conscious leaving the agenda any range of issues. This is that I need to be in time soon. our normal one-to-one London for a 6.30pm The American biolo- meeting, lasting around meeting of the gist Edward O. Wilson an hour. Linda reminds Government’s Council once said of the Earth, me that I need to leave for Science and quite succinctly: “One to get to a Birmingham Technology. We eventu- planet. One experiment.” Chamber of Commerce ally finish at 3.40pm You are alive, and you & Industry meeting – I and all I have time to do are so by a series of am a Council member is visit the cloakroom, remarkable success sto- there and do feel it is pick up my briefcase ries. You live in a world important to go along and all the post that is we know so much, and when I can. Contacts sitting in my in-tray. yet so little, about, and are very important in No time to rest in we have the duty to nur- this role as well as keep- the car – I will have to ture it. With those ing up-to-date with what clear the post, ring words, I leave you to Animal rights campaigners are a passionate bunch is happening in the Linda to catch up on ponder quite how amaz- region. messages etc. then ing and confounding life can get down to the gene the study reduced as formed on ‘charismatic’ On this occasion, I return all the other calls really is. level and study the much as possible? The animals - the warm- can’t stay for lunch as I that have come in dur- So, a fond farewell ontogeny (the develop- organisation NC3Rs blooded, cute and cuddly have to be back at the ing the day. from me, but not to ment from early stages) brings together stake- ones. Yet thousands of Birmingham Research Thankfully I get Redbrick science: stand- of a disease.” holders in the 3Rs to studies are carried out on Park to give a speech there just in time. ing at the oche is Hannah Most people are facilitate the exchange of fruit flies and nematode during their 25th There is a working din- Murfett, your new familiar with the phrase ideas such that research worms, and without them anniversary celebra- ner afterwards, and eat- Science Correspondent. I ‘lab rat’ - indeed, Home does not benefit science we would be clueless as tions. I am joining them ing for the University is wish her the best of luck, Office statistics for 2005 at the expense of animals. to the mechanisms of all for lunch and it certainly part of a Vice- and send my thanks to show that 83% of experi- To pass the 1986 Act, human development. would seem that every- Chancellor’s job! This is all of my science writers ments on animals were the benefits to human Nonetheless, mice are fre- one is having such a the first of four dinners since January, and also carried out on rodents, health and scientific quently used because good time that things this week – it isn’t any to Melinda Carpenter, for mostly mice. Experiments endeavour must far out- they are vertebrates, and are running a little late. good for my waistline, editing assistance and in the UK, however, weigh the adverse effect they are mammals. They I make my speech and that’s for sure. support. involve a diversity of on a minimal number of are the closest to us you am disappointed that I It’s 10pm before I species: from mice to animals, for whom veteri- can use practically. Rats have to make my exit can leave London which mules to macaques and nary assistance must be are typical used for sys- before the pudding means I won’t be home To keep writing migrating birds. There available. The University tems biology, mice for arrives (anyone will tell until well after midnight are mammals, birds, of Birmingham has its immunological study. you that I have a partic- – and all I can think over the summer, amphibians, fish and rep- own 24 hour vet cover. Though controversial ularly sweet tooth!) about is that I have to be tiles. The only things In 2004, the Home to some, the benefits on This is when it helps to ready to leave again at get in touch with there definitely aren’t are Office carried out 2,682 human health and under- have a driver available, 7.30am to attend an great apes and octopuses, random checks at standing achieved from as I have to be back in Advantage West RedbrickOnline, protected by law. research laboratories, all animal testing have been the office for 2.30pm to Midlands board meeting The 1986 Animals by trained vets. If the lab enormous. Ask any sup- greet representatives which starts at 8am. Oh and thank you to (Scientific Procedures) fails the inspection, all port group for patients of from the Malaysian High well... sleep is definitely Act, enforced by the work stops immediately. a common developmental Commission. I use that a priority now. everyone who Home Office, is a neces- This has never happened disease whether they are five minutes in the car I wouldn’t swap my sarily draconian piece of at the University. in support of animal test- to read my briefing job for any other. You contributed to legislation, ensuring no Animal testing has so ing and they will all likely papers which will always have to expect experimentation is car- many potential benefits answer in the same way. include their biogra- the unexpected – I sup- features this year! ried out if any other that this feature could A resounding yes. phies and some infor- pose that is half the fun.