Looking through cats' eyes

John H. johnhkm at netsprintXXXX.net.au
Tue Oct 19 05:59:50 EST 1999

Matt Jones <jonesmat at ohsu.edu> wrote in message
news:7udgks$jts$1 at fremont.ohsu.edu...
> In article <940124728.76794 at server.australia.net.au> Jo!hn,
> johnhkm at netsprintXXXX.net.au writes:
> >It takes a much smaller leap of the imagination to realise just how much
> >these animals must suffer during these experiments. Certainly the
> >provides valuable info, but "the end justifies the means" does not
> >constitute an argument.
> Jo!hn,
> I notice that you often post excerpts of newspaper articles and press
> releases, without offering any comments of your own. Just out of
> curiousity, do you ever actually bother to read the original research
> papers that these press releases describe? Or do you get all of your
> scientific information through newspapers?

Obviously you think I do. The original idea was to provide some impetus for
the ng, which was looking pretty glum and remains problematic with all this
carping going on. I thought my lack of comment clearly did indicate I wasn't
reading all of them. You should look more carefully, many of these posts are
from research centers and good internet sources (like the SFN site, Max
Planck, Harvard Uni ... ).

I would certainly like to follow through on a lot of this but that ain't
gonna happen. Most of these are drawn from well known link pages for
cognitive and neuroscience, I just knock a quick few selections with
excerpts and throw them up here or elsewhere occasionally. I can do this
with mouse only so it is quick (30secs). I don't mind throwing up the posts,
on days off will still do so occasionally, but don't have the time to
seriously read or edit all of them. Enter at your own risk basically.

As to my current interests, none of these posts reflect my present reading
and thinking. I am preoccupied with other matters. One of my current
interests relates to issues like: how come il1 goes through the roof during
audiogenic seizure [apart from nmda activation] and the possible
implications of this re epilepsy - some cytokines get out of control and
does the immune system even "belong" in the CNS? and why on earth does TNF
have so many crossover effects and belong to the same family as NGF and it
also appears to affect g protein coupling via RGS7 enhancement[prevents
degradation through inhibiting protesomal degradation] have a look
at"Upregulation of RGS7 may contribute to tumor necrosis factor-induced
changes in central nervous function." Nature Medicine, August 1999, Can you
suggest any ideas as to why TNF seems to have so many differing affects?
Something about its structure, coding? Is the TNF\NGF linkage through
embryonic origins or an accident of evolution?  Recently I was reading a
text claiming how in the "old" days it was thought one receptor - on
molecule, now it appears that cytokines at least can have a number of
surprising interactions and this seems to make it very difficult indeed ...

Yes I read newspapers too.

As an individual who has had 3 major neurological operations I can assure
that no amount of medicine stops the pain. I take it as a given that animals
suffer at our expense I think that is very much a part of our history. I
expressed a personal feeling to the effect that wherever possible we should
attempt to avoid suffering in science. I've read enough of "We ablated the
orbitofrontal cortex of the macque and then watch it get confused when we
tried to make it choose. Or We took out the amygdala, hey look, it's not
scared anymore!. The animals suffer, not nearly as much these days. I did
not condemn those who perform such work I simply stated I would not like to
do it. You may salve your conscience with delusions that animals don't
suffer but I prefer Camus, "Seeking the truth is not seeking what is

> This means that the animals suffered about as much during the experiment
> as a human patient would suffer during surgery involving deep general
> anesthesia (probably less, as the animals were not sick to begin with,
> unlike human patients).
> Whether human scientists have "the right" to use animals at all in
> experimentation is a completely separate issue, but in this particular
> case, suffering of the animal was probably minimal or zero.

I stated no objection to the use animals or the people who do so, simply
that I would not do so. Unwarranted leap on your part. While in this
instance the suffering may be minimal there are many other instances ... .
You know, the better response is, "do you eat meat?" What, St. Paul got you?
"My conscience is clear, but that does make me innocent." Of all species,
apart from a few microbes, we excel at causing suffering in other species,
its called dominating. Your "just out of curiousity" intro was a good
example at how skilled we have become in deluding ourselves of our true

> The section of the paper describing the animal handling is reproduced
> below in its entriety for your reading pleasure and edification.  While
> you're at it, you might try going to the library and actually reading the
> rest of the paper too. You know, just to see what it feels like for a
> change.

Well be careful here, copying entire sections may be copyright infringement.

You are a presumptuous creature. Just out of curiousity, what sort of
research are you doing? Give me a break, I'm just an outsider trying to
understand and without a formal education that is proving rather difficult
at present. That's why I offer little comment. Now, I have some catch up
reading to do and I trust the authors will not wily nily invoke assumptions
in total defiance of poor ol Ockham ... .

Never presume that the silent do not know how to fight (just ask some of
Boltzmann's ghostly opponents).


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