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Research On Animals

April 7, 2014 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 92, Issue 14

March 10, page 32: Small amounts of cadmium, nickel, and lead have been detected not only in e-cigarette vapor but also in tobacco cigarette smoke.

It is upsetting that C&EN would feature an image of a burned animal being probed by a spectroscopist as some kind of evidence for progress in health science and diagnostics (C&EN, Jan. 13, page 28). In fact, the decision to include the photo of this shaved, burned, and undoubtedly traumatized mouse, strongly suggests that the magazine is out of touch when it comes to matters of taste and blind with regard to ethical considerations that should surround decisions involving animal research.

I would prefer that the researchers on this team shave and burn their own skin before anesthetizing and probing each other. I am serious. Not only would it be a better story, with more gripping photos, but it might also give such researchers pause as they consider the harm and suffering they inflict on their unfortunate lab animals.

Is it any wonder that much of our citizenry continues to regard animal-based scientific studies with revulsion? I hope that C&EN will adopt changes in its editorial review that considers and rejects coverage (and implied approval) of research invoking such obvious cruelty to animals.

David Cordes
Forest Grove, Ore.


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