[On April 8th] at the University of California at Los Angeles, a rally [was] planned to raise awareness about the value of responsible animal research and to denounce acts of terrorism toward animal researchers and their families. The highlight of the “Pro-Test” rally [was] the presentation to legislators and the media a petition with nearly 12,000 signatures of scientists who support the use of animals in research.
The rally and the petition drive [was] a joint effort of Americans for Medical Progress, Pro-Test for Science, and Speaking of Research.
I stand together with my colleagues who conduct animal research in honor of their application of knowledge to advance biology and relieve human suffering, all while a growing movement of animal rights activists up the ante from protests to attacks on researchers, destruction of homes by arson, and even the vandalism of graves of researchers’ loved ones. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Terra Sigillata*
One of the things about science-based medicine that makes it so fascinating is that it encompasses such a wide variety of modalities that it takes a similarly wide variety of science and scientific techniques to investigate various diseases. Some medical disciplines consist of mainly of problems that are relatively straightforward to study. Don’t get me wrong, though. By “straightforward” I don’t mean that they’re easy, simply that the experimental design of a clinical trial to test a treatment is fairly easily encompassed by the paradigm of randomized clinical trials.
Medical oncology is just one example, where new drugs can be tested in randomized, double-blinded trials against or in addition to the standard of care without having to account for many difficulties that arise from difficulties blinding. We’ve discussed such difficulties before, for instance, in the context of constructing adequate placebos for acupuncture trials.
Indeed, this topic is critical to the application of science-based medicine to various “complementary and alternative medicine” modalities, which do not as easily lend themselves to randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trials, although I would hasten to point out that, just because it can be very difficult to do such trials is not an excuse for not doing them. The development of various “sham acupuncture” controls, one of which consisted even of just twirling a toothpick gently poked onto the skin, shows that.
One area of medicine where it is difficult to construct randomized controlled trials is surgery. The reasons are multiple. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Science-Based Medicine*