Categories
Comment

University of Edinburgh called upon to stop ‘behavioural despair tests’ on mice

CW: depression, suicide The Ferret (an investigative journalism outfit) has reported that animal rights groups, including Peta, have urged Edinburgh University to stop using the ‘behavioural despair test’. Behavioural despair tests, or Porsolt swim tests, which from now on will be called Forced Swim Tests (FST) are a widely used experiment to measure the efficacy […]

Categories
Science

The ecstatic octopus

Looking back, there are many examples of scientists giving recreational drugs to animals. Usually, these have consisted of giving a psychedelic drug (such as LSD) to a subject, be it cat, rat, dog, dolphin, fish, or elephant. The aim of these studies was to test how the animal responded and the psychological effects induced by […]

Categories
Science

Viruses: life’s greatest teachers

The complexity of life and the systems that underpin it have given scientists much to puzzle over and so much remains cloaked in mystery. In our search for understanding it is far too easy for us to classify certain bodily mechanisms as either ‘good’ or ‘bad’. This, however, ignores the many shades of grey that […]

Categories
Science Science

Do the benefits of testing on animals outweigh the costs?

Image: Marcel Burkhard Animal testing is historically a topic that inspires discussion, from nation-wide campaigns down to student newspaper debates. Before this article proceeds any further, I want to specify that this article focuses on animal testing for scientific and medical purposes. Cosmetic animal testing, banned in the European Union, is morally unjustifiable, and the […]