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Maybe the Mice Slipped Them a Mickey … ?

Written by PETA | October 26, 2009

In a news item that dates back to late August but was just reported on in Sunday’s Boston Herald, a half dozen staff and students at Harvard Medical School became ill after they drank coffee from a vending machine that had been laced with sodium azide, a preservative that is commonly used in laboratories. The story reported that all the afflicted worked in a laboratory where they torment mice in immune system experiments.


boston / CC


While we would never wish poisoning upon any living being (talk about a painful way to go) it does have us wondering if karma might be at work again.

Recent publications from Harvard Medical School faculty members included experiments in which mice had 25 percent of their skin burned off by placing them in 190-plus-degree water and were then injected with increasingly large doses of E. coli to see at which point 50 percent of the animals would die. In another experiment, mice were injected with cancerous cells to induce the growth of colorectal tumors and then injected with a herpes virus to see how it affected the cancer. At the end of the experiment, the animals who didn’t die during the study were killed and dissected.

It does look like some of the animal torturers experimenters at Harvard have gotten a taste of their own medicine—literally. Let this be a lesson to you, Harvard: Never underestimate the fury of a mouse scorned.

Written by Alisa Mullins

Commenting is closed.
  • Kalama Halamezad says:

    Kristina I’m sorry that a few insensitive researchers have given you the impression that all researchers are selfish and insensitive. As you know all sects tend to have members who behave badly. If you can accept this fact then why is it so hard to accept the fact that not all scientists are bad? If I was so heartless unethical and soulless would I be a vegetarian for ethical reasons amongst others? Would I be against the wearing of animal products or the use of animals for entertainment? My beliefs parallel most of yours but I differ in one respect. That I feel the benefits of animal research are worth the benefits humanity gains from them because despite whether you want to believe it or not animal science contributes to society. If we were all so heartless why would we have wasted our time reviewing methods to gauge how various anesthetics treatments and methods of euthanasia affect the comfort of all animals used in experimentation and then created a guide to follow to make sure that we don’t use any agents that cause an animal to be terrified or suffer intentionally? You may debate if we are heartless but I have no doubt that you are judgmental.

  • Kalama Halamezad says:

    The debate isn’t about if animal experimentation is ethical or not it’s about whether painting it using the most foul language possible is fair considering that more moderate individuals would be less disgusted if they knew how studies were actually carried out. And you are insane to think that the simulations aren’t based on animal data. There isn’t enough data on humans to create an accurate model in many cases and in some of the best cases we can only substitute corresponding human parameters into a program that was initially designed based on animal knowledge. For instance Neuron a neural network simulator opens to a default state where the conductances of ion channels are set to produce an action potential corresponding to that of a frog since that was the basis for the programs original design. You can replace the parameters with lateracquired human parameters but that doesn’t change the fact that the model was still based on a frog. And ask any reputable scientist no simulation can predict phenomena that is wasn’t designed to test for. This includes simulators for things as mundane as electrical fields in engineering simulators as well. You always have to test anything new in the real world otherwise it could just be that the model is inaccurate.

  • Kristina C says:

    Never ever think that because someone goes to a university they are more moral or better. When I went to a UC school in CA…I did meet some students who worked in the animal labs. I was appalled by their insensitivity and selfishness. They had no clue and were not nice people at all. A person who doesn’t blink an eye at the hurting of an animal is a person who is missing a lot of heart. Soulless.

  • Lacey Matthews says:

    Sorry Kalama I’m going to have to side with Mark Twain on this one. He said “I believe I am not interested to know whether vivisection produces results that are profitable to the human race or doesn’t. To know that the results are profitable to the race would not remove my hostility to it. The pains which it inflicts upon unconsenting animals is the basis of my enmity towards it . . .”

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Antoine Excellent wellthought out posts but I think Saucy is innocent. I know it’s a bit different but PETA puts the poster’s name at the bottom of their post. Thanks for the book referralI’ll check it out.

  • Saucy says:

    Hi Antoine I’m guessing you have me confused with someone else on board. I am abhorrently opposed to the use of animals in research. My post was in response to Kalama suggestion that children be deceived about the reality of this world. I disagree. I am outraged at the National Institute of Health for funding these experiments with taxpayer dollars. I am outraged at the dumbing down and brainwashing of the American public. The level of greed and cruelty is shocking. There was this one experiment I believe his name was Laudenburg from Colorado funded with a million dollar grant from NIH. He took baby monkeys away from there mothers and turned them into alcoholics to find out how poor mothering contributes to alcoholism. How ludicrous is that? Everyone knows if you have a problem with alcohol there a zillion AA meeting everyday all across the globe. No Antoine I am wholeheartedly opposed to animal research on so many levels. It has been nice chatting with you though and I always like reading your posts They are very informative and right on the money baby. Love Ya Saucy

  • Antoine says:

    I am always amazed by proanimal testing advocates! The question I have for you Saucy is “why do you absolutely support animal research? You AGREE with cats being fed rat poison until they die?” And before you go on about how I am using emotionality I am stating facts. LOOK UP THE NUMBERS. more than 90 and I am being conservative of ALL animal studies are for household products and other nonmedical related research. Also of the 10 that is classified as medical research most of that is drug research which has nothing to do with saving lives and everything to do with making a profit less than 1 of it is for actual innovative studies to CURE PEOPLE…and our point is that those same studies COULD easily be done without animal models. As for Kalamata’s theory that the computer models being based on animal models? That is probably the stupidest thing I have EVER read. Why would they create a computer model that was NOT based on the human body chemistry and phsisiology? As for the countless studies that you can supposedly quote Saucy again educate yourself before shooting your mouth off in “Animal Experimentation A Harvest of Shame.” Dr. Fadali conclusively proves that not only did many animal studies lead to human deaths…but that NO discovery in the history of MEDICINE can be attributed to animal models. Don’t argue with me here read the book and do your reasearch. The biggest mistake that people like you make Saucy is to automatically assume that those who care love and want to be compassionate are not using their mind I have found that caring compassionate people tend to use their mind more than hard mean and cruel people. Because kindness and compassion establishes a rule that one is forced to follow and this rule forces us to think critically about what we do. Kindness becomes a NECESSITY and therefore this necessity forces us to think about EVERYTHING that we do. Whereas those who ignore their heart wind up killing their minds as well. What amazes me to no end when people defend animal experimentation as desperately as you do is this If I can PROVE to you that doing nonanimal model research will yield BETTER results and save MORE lives and is BETTER more acurate science why would you stubbornly continue to kill animals? There are entire MEDICAL communities that reject animal research. In fact even when animal research was first introduced most wellmeaning scientists were opposed to it on the grounds that it was bad science. And even when the King of all sociopathic researchers Descartes was cutting conscious dogs open and telling his students that the screams of the dog was just the sounds of the gears of the machinery and not the dog’s suffering most in the scientific community knew that he was insane. Bottom line animal experimentation is being done because of the economy surrounding it and more imprtantly because “they can.” a bit like the kids who rip the wings off flies and place worms in the driveway they do it for the sole reason that they CAN do it not to prove anything. and definitely NOT to save lives.

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Kalama The bottom line is that some researchers test on animals because they canmight makes right. How many of those animals would have consented to becoming “guinea pigs” in the first place if they had a choice? I’m betting zero. Because our species has the power to subjugate every other species we do. And then we rationalize the “necessity” of their suffering. I just wonder if omnipotent aliens landed on Earth and subjected the human species to the kind of testing animals suffer through if that would enlighten us somewhat.

  • Wayne says:

    What if I stated that the Harvard study used painkillers? And that virtually all research studies on animals use painkillers? Finally wishing death on scientists however “discretely” just seems controversial for a ‘prolife’ website.

  • Kalama Halamezad says:

    Ummm…I know they do it because we’re sort of required to and well the animals really wouldn’t cooperate unless we did. You think an unanesthetised animal would let you drill a hole in its head? Even in you forced it would that be convenient for someone trying to do a precision surgery. Don’t get me wrong not all researchers are concerned for their animals…but what you’re being shown is not acceptable anywhere in this day and age. The USDA might not regulate the treament of rodents well but reputable universities almost always adhere to guidelines set by ethics groups that do provide guidelines on how to treat the animals so that they avoid suffering or prohibit excessive suffering when unavoidable. …and I’m here because I’m sick of the ignorant stereotyping of researchers. And this post has nothing to do with me not being able to watch violent videos…comprehension of the message was key.

  • Lisa says:

    Kalama If you disagree with PETA so much why are you on this website? Do you have nothing better to do? Its because of people like you that makes people think its ok to be cruel to animals. If you think the violent videos are so offensive and you dont want to accept what people really do to animals then do not watch it. We have a choice we have options unlike all helpless animals out there. “But generally these articles intentionally use the most gruesome descriptions possible to drum up sympathy.”Drills holes into skulls” is pretty commonly used…but this is something that dentists regularly do to peopleand they experience absolutely no pain.” Normally dentists give us a shot that numbs us right up if they dont im pretty sure we would ask them to. How are you so sure they do the same for animals? I dont remember the dentist ever drilling into my skull. Do you? Just because animals cannot talk and are helpless people take advantage of that and treat them cruelly. NOt fair at all.

  • Kalama Halamezad says:

    PS…your advanced techniques biological computer simulations are based on animal models. Also they can only be used to model things already observed in animal models and if they’re used to find new phenomena they need to be verified in animal models just to prove that the simulation is accurate since you can only simulate things you already know about. The best place for simulations is for things like proteinbinding assays which you don’t need animals for anyway!

  • Kalama Halamezad says:

    Wow…I’m amazed by all the experts here repeating the same old tired arguments that they can’t even understand properly. Mice have been cured of cancer? Ummm….no. Maybe someone cured a few types of mouse cancer. Animal models don’t apply? True in the case of some diseases but not in all useful cases. Alzheimer’s is an example of where animal research can be useless since they have to find some way to make rats have Alzheimer’slike symptoms…that’s useless. Learning about “some” of the mechanisms underlying cancer is less useless since common mechanisms exist. Neurological studies have yielded all sorts of results for treatments of human disorders please thank the sea dwelling creatures that served as the foundation for such research. If you don’t agree with the ethics of animal research that’s fine. We agree to disagree but don’t presume to think you know all about it and classify researchers as ignorant people who murder to satisfy their sick desires who deserve to be tortured maimed killed etc. That’s truly ignorant. The issue with the accuracy and context here is that I could describe any number of beneficial treatments for humans here in graphic and horrid terms. I could say “Doctors at Harvard cut off chunks of peoples skin leave them in bed where they spend hours neglected and alone and don’t repair the wound until weeks later.” Sounds horrible right? But that’s standard procedure for treating a severe burn with a skin graft. If you don’t strip the skin to fat or muscle instead of getting nice new healed skin you get a giant scar. I can’t speak for the usefulness or the level of cruelty of the mentioned Harvard experiments since I don’t know what they were. But generally these articles intentionally use the most gruesome descriptions possible to drum up sympathy. “Drills holes into skulls” is pretty commonly used…but this is something that dentists regularly do to peopleand they experience absolutely no pain. ..and no I’m not a nudefearing prude. I’m just pointing out that things need to be addressed in the proper context. The activists here aren’t childperverting nudistsI’m just saying that if I toss out the context it would be easy to describe them that way.

  • Saucy says:

    Even as a child I had a basic sense of empathy for all living creatures. Meat really grossed me out as I tried to connect the dots of Old McDonalds Farm and the animals pictured and what was on my plate. I had a difficult time with this. My brain could not process it. Even then I was smart enough and human enough to understand there was something seriously wrong with this equation. Children are smarter then you think and we are doing them and the planet a great disservice by and presenting a phony image of the world to them. If I could sue the USDA NIH the networks the religious liars if I could tear them down and rip them apart for these atrocities against creatures CRAFTED BY THE HAND OF GOD I would. Oh how I wish someone with the GRACE AND COURAGE of an organization like PETA would have shoved that right in my face. This cofusion and bewilderment that I felt every evening at the dinner table could have been eliminated. It would have validated my feelings and I would have DEMANDED humane food choices. God Bless PETA! Right is Right and wrong is wrong.

  • Sarah says:

    I just want to say in relation to this article what comes around goes around. As well to add to the kalama. If you don’t like it then don’t read it and try doing something called parenting and supervise what your children are seeing on the internet. As for your comments if your watching those “violent” videos and find them disturbing as I would image any human with a conscience would then stop flapping your gob and help the cause.

  • Carla* says:

    Once again Spot on Antoine!!

  • Julie says:

    I am outraged by these horribly cruel experiments taking place at Harvard Medical School. Who in their right mind would enjoy inflicting pain and suffering on other living creatures who are so small that they can’t even fight back? I live in Boston and am disgusted to think of all the animal suffering in labs that goes on in my own city.

  • LuAnne says:

    those who live by the sword most certainly will die by the sword. an eye for an eye.rats and mice are the most abused in research facilities.this must stop at once.

  • Brad says:

    Kalama the “violent videos” that PETA simply shows what our society does to animals. If this is too bad for children to see then maybe we should stop torturing. As for the “nakedness” your children must be quite repressed if seeing the naked body is so damaging to them. Perhaps your raising of them and not PETA’s activism is the real “perversion.”

  • Antoine says:

    Kalama the reason why the Peta bloogers do not say what the research is for is that most people who know a little about animal experimentation know that the subject of study is irrelevent. and by the way what EXACTLY could BURNING OFF the flesh of mice and then injecting them with ecoli until half of them die POSSIBLY prove? 1. Animal experimentation is bad science because athe disease injected in the mouse was not developped naturally so the results do not match. b curing a disease that did not occur naturally will not tell you how to cure it when it does occur naturally in humans. c mice and other species have vastly different systems than we do so the results will teach us nothing. They have cured mice of cancer over 20 years ago and meanwhile humans are still dying. 2. Animal experimentation kills humans. a DIRECTLY There are countless examples of “research” for drugs that were tested on animals and found safe and then subsequently killed humans. I suggest reading Animal Experimentation A Harvest of Shame by Dr. Moneim A. Fadali I think Peta sells it on the Petamall b INDIRECTLY While researchers are wasting taxpayers money and wasting ressources and their talent sic on animal tests real research is ignored. Research in prevention and treatment and new methods. Also I don’t know if you know anyone who is terminally ill Kalama but if you knew that you had 6 months to live and that there was an experimental drug that MAY save your life since you are going to die anyway would you not prefer to try it out and take a chance? Or would you rather that they test it on mice dogs and bunnies for 2 years…during which time you die. PLUS more than 90 of ALL animal experimentation is for oven cleaners and legally required FDA and corporate tests of household products we know that bleach is poisonous we do not need to kill thousands of cats and mice and rats each year to prove it!!! Then there are all the psychology departments injecting nicotine in mice and torturing animals psychologically to come to brilliant conclusions like if mice are hungry and not allowed to eat they get angry and will fight other mice for food…wow! really? I know THOSE discoveries are changing MY life! And of the 10 left that is for “genuine medical research” less than 0.1 per cent of those studies are actually genuinely to find a cure for some disease…most are just repeating other studies and medical students killing rats to get their grades. AND THE beautiful horrible part of this sociopathic Skinner type useless scientific research is that they do NOT nave to prove anything or even LINK it to anything…they can just do research for the sake of it mostly to keep their grant money no fiscal responsibility and of course NO ETHICS. LET ME REPEAT THAT They can do research and get funded EVEN if they know in the onset that the research will prove NOTHING. In fact they get funded even if the research has already been done!!! They file it as inconclusive and then fill out another grant application to do it all over again!!! And even if you dont care about the poor animals who die by the thousands for this corrupt and useless system you must care about all the taxpayers money which is WASTED to fund these sociopaths! The bulk of LEGITIMATE research done these days is done with advanced computer models and actual SCIENCE not the mindless torturing of animals for some researchers sick pleasure.

  • SparkyGump says:

    Hey Kalama Halamezad no it’s not fair. There’s no naked people and informed children grow into responsible people. So how’s about you volunteering for some of that “research” and we’ll keep huggin’ the critters.

  • roxanne says:

    Kalama “Child perverting sadistics”? Wth? the fur markers and all the animal abusers are perverting the children and it is good for them to know the truth before corporate evil brainwashes them

  • Charles says:

    Kalama If they wrote “Recent publications from Harvard Medical School faculty members included experiments in which human infants had 25 percent of their skin burned off by placing them in 190+ degree water and were then injected with increasingly large doses of E. coli to see at which point 50 percent of the animals would die” would you say it was an unfair characterization of the experiment because they didnt explain what the “scientists” were “actually trying to accomplish?” What if it was allegedly to cure cancer? Would you find it any more palatable?

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Kalama And that’s what this particular blog is trying to do as wellto make people aware of animal suffering. “Violent videos?” Yeah some of them are but that’s the reality and level of abuse animals suffer at our hands. PETA does already have a website geared for children anyway

  • Aneliese says:

    After reading the first comment if the blog stated the research it was trying to accomplish it would not make it “fair” to the animals.

  • Renfield says:

    To be fair Kalama a childperverting sadist has a little more moral value than a murderer. And that’s presuming the research in question was worth something else’s life. I don’t think anything is but your mileage may vary.

  • Brien Comerford says:

    People who inflict painful punishment on innocent animals in research labs are heartless Godless and bereft of souls.

  • cal says:

    Harvard you discust me and even if I could afford your pathetic ass school I would never give you so much as a dime!!!!!!!!

  • Kalama Halamezad says:

    Hey can you at least be fair and say what the research was actually trying to accomplish? I mean is it fair if I call you “childperverting sadists” for having naked people and violent videos on display in the presence of children if I don’t mention that you’re trying to make people aware of animal suffering?