The University of Iowa has gotten the green light to build a subterranean vivarium that will house experimental animals to be used in biomedical research and offer an extra measure of protection from animal rights extremists. The Iowa Board of Regents linkurl:approved;http://www2.state.ia.us/regents/Meetings/DocketMemos/09Memos/June/0609_ITEM12.pdf $11.2 million for the roughly 35,000 square foot facility -- which will lie under a grassy courtyard bordered by three research buildings -- last week. "Security is a huge issue with regard to biomedical research," the university's vice president for research, Jordan Cohen, told the regents, according to the linkurl:__Des Moines Register__.;http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20090611/NEWS/90611013
Paul Cooper, director of the university's Office of Animal Resources, told __The Scientist__ that while protecting the facility against attacks from animal rights groups wasn't the primary impetus for putting the lab underground, its underground location "is an extra measure of security." In 2004, animal rights activists broke into animal research laboratories...
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