UC Merced bobcatflaksters now flogging disease-of-the-week
UC Merced Now Home To The Only Animal Research Facility In The Valley
...Roy Hoglund, lab animal resource center director, says "after 4 weeks, the animals are sent to U.C. Davis, the comparative pathology for rodent health diagnostic testing."
...But faculty members also realize animal research labs are often the source of controversy. Just last week, the FBI was called to UCLA ...Ana Nelson Shaw says "we certainly support the right of everyone to have and express their opinion in a safe and legal way. As soon as anybody crosses that line, we will take every step to protect our researchers and of the animals in our facility."
-- ABC30.com, July 3, 2007
...Although UC Merced officials say they haven't received any comments or concerns from animal rights advocates about the vivarium, that does not mean they are not taking precautions. -- Merced Sun-Star, July 4, 2007
The UC Merced Bobcatflaksters have got to spin this lab to a fare-thee-well and so, of course, they sought the help of the obliging media.
UC Merced is not the home of the only animal research facility in the Valley. UC Davis has been conducting animal research for many decades and UC Davis is located in the Valley. There is probably other animal research going on in the Valley and it has probably been going on for a long time.
Both stories focus on the animal-activist threat, akin to Supervisor Nelson's "socialist" threat and the "asthma terrorist" threat other public officials see in air-pollution activists exercising their Constitutional rights to speak and demonstrate.
The threat the Bobcatflaksters have gently but firmly guided the dim-witted reporters and their cowardly editors away from seeing is the threat of the lab to the population. It's a slick piece of work, worthy of the great, bygone era when Carol Tomlinson-Keasey, the Cowgirl Chancellor, ruled the grounds of the former municipal golf course, ably assisted by Larry Salinas, her quick-witted, sawed-off sidekick in cowboy boots.
Students of the profoundly corrupt boondoggle known as UC Merced scent a quickening of the breeze, a new purpose to the bobcatflak, a new theme. Since it cannot be undergraduate education for the San Joaquin Valley, the campus having admitted it is now a junior college for transferring the able few on to real UC campuses, we look to the only viable academic credential UC Merced has, its memorandum of understanding with UC/Bechtel et al/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The Lab is now contending with a few other sites to put a biowarfare laboratory (one at the highest level of danger to the public) near Tracy, on its Site 300 bomb-testing range.
The proposed bio-facility is slated to cover 500,000 square feet, the size of 5 Wal-Marts. It will house the most lethal pathogens on Earth, with both BSL-3 and BSL-4 capacity. Biosafety Level-3s experiment on infectious or exotic pathogens that are potentially lethal, such as live anthrax, plague and Q fever. Biosafety Level-4s are reserved for extremely exotic biological agents for which there is no known cure, such as Central European tick-borne encephalitis. The biological research will spread across a minimum of 30 acres to accommodate large animals, according to the agency's request for proposals in the federal register. -- TriValleyCAREs, April 16, 2007
The question that the local media lacks the courage to ask is the only question the public needs an honest answer to: what is the biodanger level of the UC Merced animal lab now? What sorts of diseases will be brought to Merced to inject into the laboratory animals? What could happen to students on the campus and the public beyond the campus if these diseases get out? What are the safety measures? What are the procedures if there is an accident?
Local government is utterly dominated by finance, insurance and real estate special interests (FIRE). To make matters worse for the purposes of public safety, the huge speculative real estate boom induced by the UC Merced campus has crashed, leaving the county, along with Stanislaus and San Joaquin, leading the nation per capita in mortage foreclosures. The promise UC Merced dangles before these hapless tools of outside interests is that a medical school will soon arrive. Miraculously, doctors and nurses and laboratory scientists and their assistants will fill the vacant homes whose values are now falling below the cost of their construction. It's the new campaign. The bobcatflaksters providing cover, the boosters can again step onto the bandwagon and off Merced goes, once again, to a glorious future. It hasn't quite arrived yet, (as always), but "we're on our way." Meanwhile, watch carefully for the agents of espionage and sabotage and forget about the agents of arbitrage.
Epidemiologically speaking, our FIRE special interests are playing host to diseases that are not good for public health and safety. As plans for the Site 300 biowarfare lab mature, it is likely the diseases will become more dangerous.
A responsible local government would be demanding to know what the level of biodanger is now and what the plans of the UC Merced animal lab are. Neither our local government nor our media have the wit or the guts to even ask the question of UC Merced.
This isn't leadership; it's depravity.
UC Merced Now Home To The Only Animal Research Facility In The Valley
By Sara Sandrik
- Animal testing usually comes with controversy, and U.C. Merced is preparing for that possibility. The new lab is equipped with security cameras and requires key card access. Officials say it's to protect the animals and the researchers.
Eight white mice are the first of thousands of rodents and a few rabbits that could eventually inhabit U.C. Merced. They're here to make sure the university's new laboratory animal research center is safe and sterile.
Roy Hoglund, lab animal resource center director, says "after 4 weeks, the animals are sent to U.C. Davis, the comparative pathology for rodent health diagnostic testing."
If these mice pass the test, more animals will soon be on the way. Researchers will use them to study a variety of conditions that affect humans, including diabetes and asthma.
Lab Director Roy Hoglund says stem cell research is also a possibility. "Most of the work that's going to be done here is going to be studying mechanisms of disease" says Hoglund.
The facility includes 9 animal rooms and 2 surgical suites. University officials say it's is an important step toward bringing a proposed medical school to the campus.
Ana Nelson Shaw, UC Merced, says "our plans for our medical school are dependent on biomedical research and very much of that depends on research that works with animals."
But faculty members also realize animal research labs are often the source of controversy. Just last week, the FBI was called to UCLA after animal rights extremists claimed responsibility for an explosive device found under a professor's car.
Ana Nelson Shaw says "we certainly support the right of everyone to have and express their opinion in a safe and legal way. As soon as anybody crosses that line, we will take every step to protect our researchers and of the animals in our facility."
And Hoglund says there are strict rules and regulations to protect the animals during testing. "Quality animal care equates to quality research and quality science" says Hoglund.
Along with federal guidelines, there is also a local committee that must approve all animal research before it's conducted here at the university.
UC Merced vivarium's first residents move in...Victor A. Patton
The university has received the first eight mice for its vivarium -- a 5,000-square-foot facility where mice, rats and rabbits will be kept for laboratory observation...animals will be used for a variety of research purposes, including study of infectious diseases of the immune system and stem-cell research. Roy Hoglund, UC Merced's director of animal research services, said the facility is the Central Valley's first vivarium. Before it was built, UC Merced researchers had to travel nearly two hours to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the Bay Area to conduct research on rodents. Hoglund said although research on animal tissues and cells have occurred at the facility, actual animal testing may not begin for several weeks. Reporters with the Sun-Star and other media were allowed Tuesday to tour the facility, located in an underground area of the school's Science and Engineering Building. Hoglund said UC Merced staff spent weeks sterilizing the entire vivarium, which includes nine storage rooms for animals, four procedure rooms and two surgical suites. Visitors to the facility will be asked to wear sterile covering for their shoes in order to keep micro-organisms from entering the building. Researchers at Lawrence Livermore will help provide oversight and review during the vivarium's first year of operation. UC Merced has set up an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee composed of faculty, a veterinarian and member of the community unaffiliated with the university to provide additional oversight and review and approve research activities. The school will also seek to have the facility approved by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Lab Animal Care International -- a private nonprofit organization that promotes the humane treatment of lab animals through a voluntary accreditation and assessment program. Although UC Merced officials say they haven't received any comments or concerns from animal rights advocates about the vivarium, that does not mean they are not taking precautions. During a media tour of the vivarium, camera operators were asked not to photograph the numbers on doors or exit signs inside of the building -- in order to not give away the specific location of the facility. With the completion of UC Merced's vivarium, all campuses in the University of California system now have vivarium programs, according to Jennifer Ward, UC Office of the President spokesperson.