Friday, June 12, 2009

Researchers Going Underground

U of I to build underground animal research lab
ERIN JORDAN • • June 11, 2009
The Iowa Board of Regents approved $11.2 million for an underground vivarium that will house University of Iowa animal research laboratories.

The 35,000-square-foot facility would connect the Medical Education Research Facility and Carver Biomedical Research Building on the west side of campus. The links would mean researchers would never have to transport animals above ground, said Jordan Cohen, interim U of I vice president for research.

“Security is a huge issue with regard to biomedical research,” Cohen told the regents.

A Nov. 14, 2004, break-in at animal research laboratories in the U of I’s Spence Laboratories and Seashore Hall cost about $425,000 and temporarily stalled some research. The Animal Liberation Front claimed responsibility for the attack, in which masked intruders trashed computers and other equipment and stole hundreds of laboratory animals.

Other universities, such as the University of Southern California, have built similar facilities, Cohen said.

The U of I vivarium would be built as a shell to be later equipped with laboratory space. A grassy courtyard would be above the facility. Link

It seems like a sad commentary on this country when our medical researchers, who are trying to improve the human health condition, are forced to do their work underground. Unfortunately there are some people and groups, like the Animal Liberation Front, that put more value on the life of an animal than they do human lives. It’s a crime against all human beings, when this terrorist group stall the development of human medicine.

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