For Immediate Release:
June 1, 2020
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Hefei, China – Please see the following statement from PETA neuroscientist Emily Trunnell regarding a paper published today in Nature Neuroscience titled “A Circadian Rhythm-Gated Subcortical Pathway for Nighttime-Light-Induced Depressive-Like Behaviors in Mice”:
These poorly conceived experiments, in which researchers stuck needles into mice’s eyeballs and conducted invasive brain surgeries on them, not only are cruel but also tell us absolutely nothing about the effects of nighttime light on humans. Some animals were purposely bred to be blind, or their vision was otherwise manipulated. The animals’ “depressive-like behaviour” was assessed using the highly unreliable forced swim test, in which mice are dropped into inescapable tanks of water and made to swim to keep from drowning, and tail suspension tests, in which the animals are taped up by their sensitive tails and left to dangle, struggling to right themselves. Most puzzling was the experimenters’ decision to use mice, who are nocturnal animals, and to expose them to “nighttime light” during the beginning of their wake cycle. This is like calling sunshine “nighttime light” for humans. Non-invasive studies with human volunteers would have been both humane and relevant. Why this experiment received funding and its results were published should be thoroughly investigated.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.