Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pond scum for brains

A confluence of events today. As I walked through the diag at the University of Michigan on my way to teach my class, I passed by a small anti-animal testing protest which consisted of a few students, a dog crate that some guy was trying to squeeze into, and a poster with a monkey on it. A student handed me a flyer which I accepted but, admittedly, did not read.

At the same time, all three of my classes were turning in their rough drafts today. Rhetorical analysis. Fun stuff (actually, I really think that. It's an essential skill for any literate person). For their essay they were to choose from three Frontline documentaries, including one called My Father, My Brother and Me, which is about Parkinson's disease and includes a scene of monkeys in a lab of researchers trying to find a cure.

And then I get home and read in Wired about optigenetics, a type of gene therapy using algae and light, that shows promise for treating Parkinson's. In the article, researches do testing on rhesus monkeys.

I am, in principle, against animal testing. I love animals. I don't eat them. I hate to see them harmed. I am part of the anti-cruelty set. But, man, I am also super against Parkinson's. And if a cure can come from all of this, let's just say I'm not going to crawl into a dog cage over it.

No comments: