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School halts baboon anthrax study

Oklahoma State University (OSU) administrators have aborted a federally-funded study of anthrax vaccines because the project involved sacrificing the baboons involved in the research -- even though the project had already received approval by a unanimous vote from the university committee overseeing animal research. A photomicrograph of Bacillus anthracis bacteriaImage: Wikimedia commons, CDC"It was a considerable surprise to pretty much everybody involved," said linkurl:Michael Davis,;http://w

Jef Akst
Jef Akst

Jef Akst is managing editor of The Scientist, where she started as an intern in 2009 after receiving a master’s degree from Indiana University in April 2009 studying the mating behavior of seahorses.

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Oklahoma State University (OSU) administrators have aborted a federally-funded study of anthrax vaccines because the project involved sacrificing the baboons involved in the research -- even though the project had already received approval by a unanimous vote from the university committee overseeing animal research.
A photomicrograph of Bacillus
anthracis bacteria

Image: Wikimedia commons, CDC
"It was a considerable surprise to pretty much everybody involved," said linkurl:Michael Davis,;http://www.cvhs.okstate.edu/Profiles/DisplayProfile.asp?RecordID=470 an OSU veterinary doctor and a member of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) that approved the project. "It's not as though this was the first time anybody suggested that we ought to euthanize an animal during a research protocol." The project, headed by Boston University's linkurl:Shinichiro Kurosawa,;http://www.bumc.bu.edu/busm-pathology/busm-faculty-profiles/s-kurosawa-md-phd/ proposed to use baboons as a primate model to test the efficacy of the current vaccine (the one given to members of the military) for anthrax. The plan was to expose the animals...
The OklahomanThe Scientist



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