NIH budget cuts force professor to euthanize his genetically modified rabbits
Health and science research funding has gone under the knife lately, and “a dark age for science in America” is on its way, according to the Huffington Post (OMINOUS). The National Institutes of Health has to trim $1.7 billion from its budget this year alone. A surprising victim? Genetically modified rabbits.
Ophthalmology professor Robert E. Marc of the University of Utah’s medical school was working with fancy blind bunnies … but then he had to kill them to cut costs, because of the sequestration and all. We feel weird. On the one hand, we’re not sold on GM organisms. On the other hand, noooooo! The bunnies!
Marc wrote to HuffPo:
I have … euthanized many beautiful, rare and expensive transgenic rabbits that were new, exciting models for testing new therapies for human retinal degenerations. We petted them, played with them, fed them treats. Now they are dead …
I’ve spent over $25,000 developing a colony of animals who have a progressive age dependent blindness. Because of the sequester we’ve killed them before we could finish the treatment study … When and if Congress ever does anything again, it will be years before we get our new blindness treatment study back on line.
Guess Congress is the one with vision problems, eh, Dr. Marc? Maybe Congress just saw the musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer one too many times. “What’s the first thing to go? Bunnies, bunnies, it must be BUNNIES!”
Get Grist in your inbox