News from vegatwyss

Neuralink killed 1,500 animals in four years; Now under trial for animal cruelty: Report

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  1. Is this why so many pharma companies are throwing money at every organoid or chip system they can think of? Sounds like you could get a big ROI if you could confidently pull the plug on just a few of those programs at 5% (i.e. the pre-monkey stage) instead of 90%.

  2. I know it’s just a funny meme but this is something that worries me a bit about going into a stem field and wanted to do investigation while also wanting to go vegan and being into animal’s rights. Im literally on my first month of Uni so I don’t really know how incompatible those two things are but I really hope I don’t have to make a living giving rats depression and whatnot

  3. Animal rights vegan in biology here. There's never been a more exciting time to use human stem cells to build model systems of your favorite organ or disease, making biomedical research more patient-relevant and less reliant on cruelty to animals! The technology is at a tipping point, there are discoveries to be made left and right, and all the big biotech firms are hiring people to try to replace their expensive and wasteful whole-organism workflows wherever possible.

  4. I'm so sorry about your diagnosis, and hope you achieve a speedy remission.

  5. For formal purposes, I am not a statistician but if they pass the SW test and other formal tests of normality (which they should because SW has the best power for a given significance) then nobody can objectively prove they're not normally distributed. For vibe check purposes, I would recommend using np.random to make yourself some synthetic datasets of measurements that are truly drawn from a random distribution, to get a sense of what that typically looks like.

  6. It's unethical to waste your colleagues' time and scientific resources by publishing a paper that you can't fully stand behind every sentence of. So you have an ethical obligation to fact-check very carefully before accepting authorship on a paper where any of the sentences were not written by you, whether they were written by a different author or by GPT, to eliminate any untrue or confusing claims.

  7. Homophobia is the one that made me be like, wait, that's not what the word means. But I blame arachnophobia as the main reason that suffix started to shift.

  8. The classic radfem account of male-gay-hating is that it actually is based on fear: patriarchy tells straight men to think of fucking as a violent thing that men do to other people to establish their dominance, so it's scary and disorienting to realize that some men might want to fuck them.

  9. My best guess is that warming to 37° causes the FGF2 or some other important factor(s) to precipitate out in some way. If they do this and land on your cells or cell culture dish, they gradually diffuse back into the media and do their thing, but if you pre-warm the bottle you end up transferring media with no FGF2 (or whatever).

  10. So glad to see this! Hope this courageous fight and clear victory is a lesson to other University administrators who try hardball tactics like suspending health insurance coverage or charging tuition to striking grad student workers.

  11. You're an embodied, vulnerable, mortal animal evolved to struggle against your death with every fiber of your being, just like the mice whom you kill to advance your interests and those of your conspecifics. You're also a human, with the abstract reasoning capability and intellectual honesty to recognize the fundamental ethical issue with this. There's nothing wrong with your mind for processing your situation like this; in my opinion, you should consider talking with a philosopher, not a therapist.

  12. Props, I think this is probably what was being referred to. He hasn't been able to get this published anywhere yet, so I can't find any additional info about methods or study design—not clear from the abstract if weak Dems were randomly assigned to receive T or placebo, whether the placebo was blinded, whether they knew they were signing up to get T (a potentially nontrivial self-selection effect).

  13. I just heard this on the therapy gecko podcast, and it made me think. Apparently all the cells you had when you were a baby are dead now.

  14. Your average baby cell is no longer around, but almost all your neurons (arguably the cells that make you you) are born before your third trimester and last your whole life. If they were constantly being turned over like blood or skin cells, the new neurons wouldn't be able to form the same connections, erasing long-term retention of memories and motor skills.

  15. We’ve gotten tombstones outside in protest of animal/primate research too.

  16. In fairness, the animal research community does not exactly prioritize transparent sharing of uncensored information about what goes on inside primate labs. When IACUCs impose strict rules against sharing any pictures or descriptions of procedures without pre-clearance, and all the public really has to go on is chillingly clinical descriptions of retro-orbital bleeds or head-fixing procedures plus occasional snippets of sensational leaked/undercover video footage, you can hardly blame people for inferring the worst.

  17. I'm not OP, but I also want to pitch in an idea - it's always worth considering whether you can use organoids! Our lab used to do a ton of mouse work to look at the small intestine, but intestinal organoids have now made much of this work unnecessary, and in some cases, it's even superior to mouse methods because the cells are human.

  18. Immunology is definitely a grand challenge for microphysiological systems, but some amazing progress has been made in lymph-nodes-on-chips in the last few years—nicely reviewed as of 2021 by

  19. I really feel for you, OP, and I hope these comments show that more of your scientific colleagues sympathize than you might think. Managing your individual mental health, burnout, and compassion fatigue is definitely important and increasingly recognized as such in the metascientific animal research literature: you can find discussion and constructive suggestions in e.g. Newsome et al. J Am Assoc Lab Animal Sci

  20. Colonies touching is just a matter of confluence, but these cells are migrating away from each other and elongated even in the middle of their colonies with an overall more fibroblastic morphology. iPSC colonies should be round, with clearly defined smooth-ish borders and tightly packed cells in the center showing large, round nucleoli—see

  21. In Mac OS, you can do this even more easily with built-in functionality: go to Keyboard Preferences>Text and set rules to "autocorrect" defined text strings to something else as you type. For example, I've set my computer to automatically replace ~~ with ≈, \to with →, \beta with β, \biohazard with ☣︎ (just for fun), etc., generally sticking to LaTeX symbol names for convenience.

  22. As a Harvard grad union kid, Harvard will absolutely not budge on the stipend. They're agreed on per program and changing it for anyone will violate the contract and get them in legal trouble. That said, teaching in Cambridge can net you an extra $10k/year.

  23. This is actually a common misconception.

  24. Immensely jealous of that stunning great blue heron stained glass. Do you have a picture of it from the inside?

  25. Sorry, but why not? Research shouldn't hide what it does to animals. It isn't disrespectful for the public to know about and discuss the sacrifice of animal life for scientific research

  26. So what did they call soybeans before someone invented Shoyu?

  27. Soy sauce paste is a lot easier to ship than edamame, so probably Europeans learned about shoyu first and only later tried shoyu-beans.

  28. OK but no soy sauce I've bought has come in the form of a thick, oily paste. Has the composition of soy sauce changed over time?

  29. Soy sauce production typically involves making a thick paste, which is then watered down for table use.

  30. I know how strict the institutional guidelines at research Universities are. You have to justify every experiment, and why you absolutely need an animal. Every single thing you are going to do has to be approved, to ensure that they don't suffer. All the animals from all the labs, are kept in one central location. They are monitored every day by independent observers and caretakers. You fuck up once, or deviate from the approved protocol, your lab loses the ability to work with animals for good. These are just for working with mice. If the institution has the ability to work with primates, the guidelines are about 100x harder.

  31. Well, that's the theory and what we tell people. In practice, almost every scientist has a story about a former labmate's poorly-thought-out project that used hundreds of rats even though it was obviously never going to work, or the time a technician in their department stopped coming to work and nobody noticed until their mice started rotting.

  32. The relevant union contract should have a section called something like "Discipline and Discharge", which lays out the steps supervisors need to go through in order to formally let an employee know their performance needs to be improved or to impose consequences for poor performance.

  33. I'm currently doing a stem cell biology PhD using human cell-based models, working on developing animal-free platforms for human developmental biology research.

  34. Thank you for the response. I've seen a couple of PhD options (and even MBiols I didn't get allocated) that use cell culture and organoids rather than model organisms for experimentation and that seemed like a preferable route for me to pursue. That being said, is there no place for Drosophila research for understanding stem cell dynamics in vivo with all natural signalling pathways present (EGF, Wnt, JAK-STAT etc.) from surrounding tissues for fundamental understanding of stem cell homeostasis and cancer biology? Or are we at the level where stem cell homeostasis has been confirmed as equivalent in organoids and culture models?

  35. Fair question. On the one hand, the fancier microfluidic models can offer much more explicit control of non-cell-autonomous signals and morphogen gradients than in a whole organism, but it's true that for the time being the full natural complexity isn't there.

  36. If you've got a viable alternative, the Nobel prize is in the post.

  37. That's a bit flippant. A lot of us are indeed working on building tissue- and organ-level platforms using human stem cells, and they're rapidly approaching the point of being more reliable and economically feasible than traditional animal models for important toxicology and drug development applications (check out

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