Skip to comments.Animal-rights activists trash years of autism research in Milan lab raid
Posted on 04/24/2013 6:53:14 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
Had this crime been perpetrated by a roving band of evangelicals who object to scientific treatment of autism and schizophrenia, you might have heard a lot about it this week. As it is, that would never happen, and it was animal-rights activists who did the damage. Will the reputation of their cause and mainstream activists have to contend with their actions?
Activists occupied an animal facility at the University of Milan, Italy, at the weekend, releasing mice and rabbits and mixing up cage labels to confuse experimental protocols. Researchers at the university say that it will take years to recover their work.
Many of the animals at the facility are genetic models for psychiatric disorders such as autism and schizophrenia.
No arrests have been made following the 12-hour drama, which took place on Saturday, although the university says that it will press charges against the protesters.
Officials know the organization responsible, they negotiated with them, and have photos of them posted on their social media sites in the act of their crime. Should be pretty easy to prosecute them unless the Italian system is too busy working on Amanda Knox’s extradition:
Five activists entered laboratories in the universitys pharmacology department on Saturday morning. The lack of signs of a break-in suggests that the activists may have used an illegally acquired electronic card, says pharmacologist Francesca Guidobono-Cavalchini, who works there. They prised open the reinforced doors of the facility on the fourth floor, and two of them chained themselves by the neck to the main double doors such that any attempt to open the doors could have endangered their lives.
They posted pictures of themselves on their organisations website, where they also declared that they would stay for as long as it took to get agreement to leave with all the animals. The facility hosts around 800 animals, mostly genetically modified mice but also some rabbits, according to Martino Bolognesi, a structural biologist at the university. The activists had brought supplies of food and sleeping bags.
But hey, they’re just there to help the animals:
Some of the mice they removed were delicate mutants and immunosuppressed nude mice, which die very quickly outside controlled environments.
Oops. Screw the humans, too:
Michela Matteoli, a neurobiologist who works on autism and other disorders and lost most of her own research in the attack, says that she found some research students crying in the disrupted facility on Monday morning.
It will take three people at least a year to build up the colonies we had of mouse models of different psychiatric diseases, she says.
There are, of course, plenty of animal-rights organizations that do good work without being totally insane. I’ve fostered pets for some of them in my community. But animal-rights and environmental extremists have proven to be be capable of lots of damage and widespread, documented criminal activity. Yet they rarely get the press, say, a picture of a rude sign at a Tea Party rally might get. Maybe our more mainstream animal-rights friends could muster some loud denunciations of such tactics to prevent further losses of valuable research. A series of posters, maybe, featuring wasted celebrities stumbling out of swanky nightclubsLindsay Lohan, Mischa Barton, etc. “I’d rather get smashed than smash a lab.”
Although, I sure as hell wouldn’t trust PETA with the mice these guys got away with. Maybe we could chill with the credence we give those guys while we’re at it, too, huh Hollywood? They’d kill your teacup pups quick as look at ‘em.
As a bonus, April is Autism Awareness Month. Way to go, guys.
(Here are a couple links for helping those affected by autism, while these guys are busy tearing down.)
To be fair, only America has these silly Weeks and Months. Irrelevant in Italy.
I hate these scum liberals.
Aw, hell, there will be plenty of replies here that autism disorders are just phoney plies of the medical-pharm industry anyway.
ADHD and autism are just made up! ADHD is an excuse for dad not beating junior enough! Ritalin is evil! BTW, There are no psychotropics available to deal with autistics, so, um, wait.
Okay, ok, so Ritalin is like speed, right? And anyone who’s done speed, and anyone in their house, ever, should turn in their guns and stuff...
So the pubic school system pushes for Ritalin and, well, there ya have it.
Wait for it.
Autism is real but it is a simple fact that the definition has expanded to include a whole range of things that aren’t even issues.
Face it, its a fact. Everybody wants their kid to be special even if it means a “disorder”.
True, that. But it’s real for those who are there. I certainly don’t expect handouts, just recognition.
My nephew is staying with me while he earns money for an apartment. They diagnosed him as mildly autistic when he was a kid but as a 21 year old, most would call him quiet and introspective.
He’s kind of like me in that sense. He’s got a small circle of friends, a girlfriend and just isn’t thrilled with people as a whole.
Exactly, same here.
There’s a Steve Jobs quote out there... I’ll find it.
Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.
- Steve Jobs
I was labeled learning disabled but when it comes down too it, I just struggle with math. Beyond that I can hold my own in conversations with PhDs in subjects that interest me.
You were labeled. Professional bullying by the gment school system.
Not truly autism but is grouped with autism; very severe and affects only girls.
Michela Matteoli, Group leader, Associate Professor of Pharmacology, neurobiologist, more than 15 years experience with mechanisms of synapse formation with a specific emphasis on regulation of synaptic vesicle trafficking.
Main Tasks in this Project: The main tasks of the group will be (i) monitoring the trafficking of synaptopathy gene products and of reporter synaptic proteins to the synapse and (ii) assessing the correct functional integration of these proteins at the synapse using multidisciplinary functional assays. The technical approaches will include time lapse video-microscopy of photoactivatable GFP tagged proteins, confocal microscopy, optical assays for synaptic vesicle recycling, biochemical purification of presynaptic compartments, single cell calcium imaging and patch clamp on isolated neurons
Green Hill is the animal rights group; Green hill is the name of a breeding facility that breeds dogs for scientific research. I am not fond of the idea of using dogs for research. Mice, rats, OK.
Hope they prosecute them and force them to pay for the costs (Thousands of Euros..) I hope that none of their relatives suffer from the diseases that would have been helped by this research.
You’re a good uncle!
Best of luck to your nephew!