I read with interest your commentary on the use of human blood in undergraduate laboratory experiments [A.F. Sanborn, G.E. Ellis, The Scientist, Jan. 23, 1995, page 13]. My training as a clinical biochemist utilized human blood from members of the class. Thus, instruction in the proper handling of biological materials that may cause disease became integrated with the primary purpose of the laboratory experiment. To my knowledge, no member of my class contracted any disease from these laboratory experiments. By using human blood, the student is allowed to work with a real sample and can gain valuable experience in proper techniques that prevent infection.

The irrational fear that some in academia have toward using blood in undergraduate laboratory experiments robs the student of a valuable learning experience. Let's not allow mass hysteria over HIV to prevent us from training the next generation of scientists and physicians!


Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?