Doctors warn researchers not to ignore adverse reactions to animals and other menacing specimens
SAN DIEGO--Who would have thought that a rabbit could send a scientist to the emergency room? Or that butterfly scales would force an entomologist to wonder about his future as a scientist? Or that a Nobel laureate could be seized by a sneezing fit brought on by the subject of her award-winning work?

The truth is, it's actually quite common for scientists to suffer allergic reactions to their own research specimens, according to Lanny J. Rosenwasser, a Denver physician and immunologist. This is especially so when lab animals are involved. Rosenwasser estimates that anyone handling laboratory animals has a 25 to 35 percent chance of developing an allergy to that creature, whether it be a cockroach, mouse, rabbit, or squirrel monkey. The reactions can be sudden and severe, forcing the scientists to don face masks and...

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