Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Very sick. Now a chest infection. Yay for drowning in mucous.

And to top things off, the chemostat - after looking like it had recovered and was surviving - is now officially contaminated and thus fucked. That's right folks, two months of work down the bleached toilet, my experiment is completely abandoned as unworkable and in need of an immediate restart, and 60 mice are going to be culled for no good reson, and with no good results.

It's not even the fact that I'm now going to be two months behind schedual which bothers me the most.

I hate the side of science which involved animal use, but I justify it to myself by gathering as much information as possible, information which can in time be used to help thousands, if not millions of people.

And now, due to my gross incompetance, 60 mice are going to be killed, with no results to be gathered. Their lives completely wasted, and it's my fault.

I hate science.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 18th, 2004 06:40 pm (UTC)
With no real idea what you are working on... and if you don't mind me asking?

What are you working on and why do the mice need to be killed?

enquiring minds are curious.

If you do mind me asking, especially with the blahness - I'm sorry.

Oh - and hope you feel well soon. Go the lemon juice, ginger, honey and brandy :)
Mar. 18th, 2004 07:41 pm (UTC)
I'm working on three bacteria involved in periodontal disease (one of the complications of which is heart failure due to an autoimmune reaction). I'm looking at polymicrobial interaction in a periodontal model using mice - basically I'm looking at bone loss of the jaw.

The model, while basically non-invasive and in no way detrimental to the animals we use during the model itself, is completely unworkable and unethical to use in humans (for a whole variety of reasons - trust me, I've done courses on this sort of thing), at the end of which we need to remove the jaws to examine how much bone has been lost.

Which means that because I've already started using these mice for my model, they can't be used for anything else. But because my chemostat is fucked, my experiment has been scrapped and my mice... well, they can't be used for anything.
Mar. 18th, 2004 08:21 pm (UTC)
non-invasive and in no way detrimental to the animals

doesn't that mean they could be fed to snakes or something?
Mar. 18th, 2004 08:42 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately not, because they have been treated with biological agents.
Mar. 18th, 2004 08:37 pm (UTC)
Now i have to go look up periodontal, chemostat and polymicrobial (although i reckon i can guess the third.)

Thanks for the explanation - science is interesting, as is procedure and ethics - well I think so anyway.

Mar. 19th, 2004 02:34 am (UTC)
Well, you know my views - you believe strongly enough that something's fucked, don't subscribe to it.
Are you campaigning actively within your department to change the way results are gathered (eg non-animal experimentation)? There are plenty of good alternatives, I hear, but Melbourne does persist in old-fashioned experimentation techniques..
Mar. 19th, 2004 02:04 pm (UTC)
There is a second animal model which I outright refuse to do due to the effect it has on the animals, and the extent it damages their quality of life. In that sense, I am campaigning against it.

Unfortunetely, the disease we are studying is multifactoral - it is unsure whether it is the microorganism (or mix of microorganisms) itself cause the damage seen in the disease, or if it is a host immune response which causes the damage.

Consequently, it is necessary to use a living host complete with a mouth and an immune system, preferably with a reletively short life-cycle.

If there was any possible alternative, we'd be onto it. No one likes using animals. Not my supervisor who is a naturalist, not my other supervisor who is a vegitarian, and not me.

But in order to find a treatment for this disease (not just for this disease, but for similar diseases - methods we develope in studying the disease and immunising against it can and will be used for other diseases), we need to do this. Not only that, but every time we do this we need to gather as much information as possible from each experiment to lessen the chance of it having to be repeated.

The moment I stop thinking that what I'm doing is going to benefit a huge swathe of the population (human and animal - because the disease affects both) is the moment I stop doing this.
Mar. 21st, 2004 06:55 pm (UTC)
Any reason you can't experiment on humans who already have the disease?
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )