We can be fluffy and say every thing is amazing but in reality some of it isn't. You know this.
Yes animal experiments are unpleasant, but they can lead to new understanding.
However, the question at what cost to the animals?
These days virtually all animal experiments have to go through ethical review panels, but sometimes what they support horrifies me. Maybe in the UK, we care too much about our furry friends or maybe people elsewhere don't care enough!
This is a good example. I comment on it so when people click on the altmetrics to this paper, you will come to this blog post.
This research is being done for people with MS.
However, do you feel it is relevant to your disease?
The opening statement says "To examine the impact of stress conditions in a transfer EAE model, we first employed a sleep disorder model, in which continuous stress is imposed on mice on a free rotation wheel for 2 days by the perpetual avoidance of water". They do this by filling the cage with water and make they run on a wheel.
Surely this is torture. Which ethical review panel would think this is OK. What is worse, is when when they transfer cells into the animals it causes death.
Is it OK to kill animals, when there can be endpoints before this.
I would have to say no, this does not have 3Rs merit.
The animals were dying and they had bloody stools which surely could have been used as an endpoint at the very least.
The authors say that changes in the circulation in the brain affect intestinal activity and further say vagal nerve activation is involved in the development of the severe gastrointestinal failure triggered by brain micro-inflammation.
However, there is no mention that vagal nerve stimulation in humans has been reported to inhibit autoimmunity so in complete contrast to the human potential reality
The ARRIVE guidelines by the NC3Rs asks for the translational value of the study.
Is there any?
First thing. In the study they applied parametric statistics to non-parametric data and so the explanation of the data in the experiment maybe fatally flawed. It is underpowered as there are not enough animals in a group (such as n = 3) to give any real statistical meaning, using the proper statistrics.
No wonder the three referees remained anonymous.