Funding: Clarifications to Harriman

U27111 at U27111 at
Tue Jan 2 11:49:36 EST 1996

On Sun, 31 Dec 1995, Ferland Louis H. wrote:

>      As we have discussed before but you conveniently ignore,
> biomedical research (even performed on a small scale by single
> investigators) frequently involves extraordinary expenses not
> usually found in other areas of research.  Just the costs of
> maintaining a "knock-out" colony of mice can run thousands of $
> per month.  It would be helpful in these discussions if you
> realized that some fields of research by their nature cost more
> to accomplish than others.

This is a very good example of the type of waste which goes on in
our field.

Yes... special mouse colonies are *very* expensive to maintain -
thus, you would think people would take more care in how they treat
them, how valid the experiments are when spending such monies, etc.

I've seen PIs who purchase ANM or SCID mice and house them with
regularly mice.

I've seen PIs, which due to the high cost of the mice, use sick
mice in their experiments.

I've seen PIs inject ANM and SCID mice with known contaminated
(with MHV) frozen tumors into them and jeopardize the ENTIRE colony
(of which the other PIs sharing the facility doesn't know what he
is doing).

And lastly, I've seen housing facilities which do not require
periodic genetic profiles of human tumors being worked with in
these types of colonies... to assure 'clean' tumors are being
worked with and handled.  Thus, who's to say drug studies being
preformed... that effects noted really have nothing to do with
possible viral contaminations of these tumors/cells (from being
grown or worked with in probable sloppy labs as well)?

With the types of monies involved in such projects (and of which
the outcomes of various drugs studies may depend upon whether the
treatments would then be used on human subjects)... you would
really think that people would make sure what they were doing was
valid and not a waste of time, energy and monies!

And who oversees this?  Where are the checks and balances of such
a system?


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