The government shutdown is likely to mean an early death for thousands of mice used in research on diseases such as diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s. Federal research centers including the National Institutes of Health will have to kill some mice to avoid overcrowding, researchers say. Others will die because it is impossible to maintain certain lines of genetically altered mice without constant monitoring by scientists. And most federal scientists have been banned from their own labs since Oct. 1.
Fallows isn’t pleased:
Under shutdown rules, the animals still get food and water and are kept alive. But because most researchers are forbidden to work with them, the crucial moments for tests and measurements may pass; experimental conditions may change; and in other ways projects that had been months or years in preparing may be interrupted or completely ruined.
Yes, I realize that lab animals’ situation is precarious in…
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