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University of California San Francisco (UCSF) "Research" on Dogs, Monkeys & Cats (Current)
1st Dog Experiment by Jeffrey Olgin:
Title: Remodeling in Atrial Fibrillation
Claimed Purpose: “To study the stages of congestive heart failure."
Procedures: 150 dogs would be surgically implanted with one pacemaker. Another 150 dogs would be implanted with two pacemakers. Yet another 150 dogs would be subjected to “mitral valve avulsion," a surgical procedure that tears a portion of the mitral valve of the dog's heart in order to cause “mitral regurgitation," or the blood to flow backwards. Another 100 dogs will be used as controls. The 450 dogs who undergo surgery are expected to survive 4 weeks to 6 months. However, “the only animals that would survive for up to 6 months are the RAP (rapid atrial pacing) dogs, and this is very rare." The dogs “will be monitored weekly, and daily if problems arise." Problems may be “infection in pacemaker pocket, signs of heart failure (i.e., ascites, lethargy), appearance of continued pain such as crying, flinching from touch, limping or in any way favoring incision area, or weight loss." Some dogs will be given “experimental drugs"; i.e., Ace inhibitor, PAI-1 inhibitor, TFG-B antagonist, and Pirfenidone. Thirty percent of the surgically impaired dogs are expected to die before the project ends. All 550 dogs, if they survive, will eventually undergo a terminal 8-hour-long electrophysiological study. While the dogs are under general anesthesia, their chests are cut open. “To support the heart, a pericardial cradle is made by suturing each corner of the cut pericardium to the skin. Recordings of the heart's internal blood pressure, EKG, PQRST intervals, and heart rates are taken for later analysis. Finally, the dogs will be euthanized and their hearts removed for optical mapping, cellular electrophysiology and histology analysis."
2nd Dog Experiment by Jeffrey Olgin:
Title: Effects of Congestive Heart Failure on Electrophysiology and Remodeling
Claimed Purpose: “To understand the mechanism by which heart failure causes atrial fibrillation [arrhythmia]."
Procedures: Experimenters plan to implant pacemakers in 160 dogs. 40 dogs will be used as controls. Three to five days after surgery, the pacemakers will be programmed to rapidly pace at 200 to 250 beats per minute for 2-6 weeks and/or until the dogs show symptoms of heart failure. There is the potential for severe pain as "adverse effects" include "abdominal bloating from heart failure, pulmonary edema and coughing" and infection from the implantation of the pacemakers. The dogs will receive analgesics “on an as needed basis." Pain will be assessed by “whether the dog flinches when touched, cries out when touched or in any way favors the incision [from the surgery], or fails to eat and drink." It is planned for the dogs to live from 2-7 weeks after surgery. Five percent of dogs are expected to die due to heart failure during the course of the experiment. The dogs will undergo weekly EKG's “to assess the degree of heart failure and/or mitral regurgitation." All dogs, including those in the control group, will be euthanized in the end and their hearts cut out for “optical mapping, cellular electrophysiology and histology analysis" or autoradiography.
Experiment by Michael W. Dae
Title: Noninvasive Assessment of Cardiac Adrenergic Function.
Purpose: “To show that myocardial ischemia, infarction, or congetive heart failure lead to partial denervation of the heart (and) that increases in activity to the nerves of the heart from the central nervous system are delivered unevenly to the partially denervated myocardium."
Procedures: German shepherd/mongrel puppies, one to three days old, undergo surgical removal of the right or left stellate ganglion (a mass of nerve cells located in the region between the neck and upper chest). Two weeks later, the puppies undergo general anesthesia to have their hearts cut out and "processed for autoradiography and in vitro studies." Other puppies will be injected with drugs to cause their nerves to malfunction. The puppies used as controls will also be killed and have their hearts taken out. Aside from the 64 German shepherd/mongrel pups, 64 pigs, 218 rabbits, 75 mice and 80 rats meet similar fates in related experiments.
MONKEY EXPERIMENTS: Stephen G. Lisberger (Began in 1972)
Claimed Purpose: To "discover the mechanisms of basic brain functions such as learning, memory, and the generation of motor activity" of the eye.
Procedures: The monkeys have metal plates bolted onto their skulls; steel recording cylinders are drilled into their skulls and cemented into place. Their eyes are cut open with scalpels and metal coils are placed inside. Eyeglasses are bolted onto their faces to distort their vision for up to three months at a time. The monkeys are deprived of water in order to keep them thirsty and motivate them to “work” for a juice reward. The monkeys are strapped into restraint chairs and are forced to move their eyes in a certain pattern for a juice reward. These experiments last up to 8 hours a day. Experimenters drive electrodes deep into the brain to record brain activity in response to eye movements.
Visit the following website for more details on Stephen Lisberger:
Christoph E. Schreiner
Funding: Two Federal NIH Grants:
$289,638 per year (since 1994)
+ $386,593 per year (since 1972)
Schreiner has taken over this grant from former Michael Merzenech.
Claiming to study learning disabilities, schizophrenia, depression, repetitive strain injury, stroke injury, etc., his team restrains the monkeys around the neck and waste in a chair that prevents their hands from reaching their heads. The monkeys are restrained up to five hours each day, five days per week. The monkeys undergo several surgeries to implant electrodes to record brain activity. Fluid and food restriction/reward is used to make them perform repetitive tasks beyond the point of injury. His team also puts microphone-headphones on the monkeys to see how they would react to a distorted play-back of their own vocalizations.
Jonathan Horton (Began in 1990)
Claiming to study lazy eye and imbalance of eye muscles, he sutures one eyelid of each baby animal shut. He severs their eye muscles. He then paralyzes and restrains the infant monkeys and cats in brain-mapping experiments that last 24 hours a day for up to five days non-stop.
Robert S. Turner (Began in 1999)
Title: Deep Brain Stimulation and Motor Cortical Function in a Model of Parkinson’s Disease
Claimed Purpose: To "determine the relationship between neuronal activity in the cortex and symptom relief in response to Deep Brain Stimulation for each of the four motor areas." Also, to determine if "different symptoms have different neuroanatomic or physiologic substrates in the cortex."
Procedures: Two capture poles are used to force the monkeys from the cage to the restraint chair. Food restriction/reward is used to make the monkey grasp a joystick to control a visible cursor on a computer monitor. The monkey is made to use this cursor to capture a succession of visual targets on the screen. Successful capture will be rewarded with a drop of food through a tube. On weekdays, the monkeys will receive food only during and immediately following a behavioral session. Only on weekends do the monkeys have free access to food. Holes are made in their skulls to insert recording chambers, connectors and bolts. Wires are inserted to wind under the skin all the way from their head to the 12 muscles of their right or left arm. They will undergo single-cell brain recording sessions for one year. During the sessions, the monkey’s head is locked in place with the head bolt and the non-working arm restrained while the monkey is made to perform the computer task continuously for up to four hours each weekday. After collecting pre-lesion data, the monkeys will be injected with a neurotoxin to cause Parkinson-like symptoms, and more recordings will be taken. Then deep brain stimulations will be administered to see if the monkeys will improve.
History: On August 11, 2004, IDA received an anonymous call from a whistleblower reporting on two monkeys who had experienced serious weight loss from food restriction in Dr. Turner’s lab. The employee reported that Dr. Turner is “still being allowed to do more surgeries [on monkeys] even though the surgeries are not successful.”
Henry J. (Peter) Ralston III (Began prior to 1972)
Title: Morphophysiology of Thalamic Nociceptive (Pain-sensing) Neurons
Claimed Purpose: To "study the somatosensory thalamus of the monkey and how thalamic neural circuitry is changed following partial deafferentation, such as occurs with spinal cord injury."
Procedures: Experimenters "study" pain by surgically damaging parts of the monkeys' spinal cord to see what happens to their brains as a result.
History: On March 13, 2003, a USDA inspection report cited UCSF for Ralston’s failure to provide pain relief to a monkey who had his skull cut open. USDA also cited UCSF for Ralston’s failure to gain proper approval for a procedure in which he drilled four holes into a monkey‚s skull to gain access to his or her brain.
Philip A. Starr (Began in 2000)
Title: Basal Ganglia Physiology
Claimed Purpose: "To determine the roles of the basal ganglia in the development of dystonia, a condition in which muscles are overactive, producing abnormal postures and/or twisting, writhing movements."
Procedures: The monkeys are made to develop hand dystonia by a repetitive motion task. They are forced from the cage to the restraint chair using two capture poles. Two recording chambers and three head fixation bolts are surgically screwed to the skull. Wires are inserted to wind under the skin from the head to the muscles of the left and right arm. Recording sessions last up to 4 hours every weekday for 18 months. The monkeys are forced to repetitively open and close their hands to receive a semi-solid food reward through a tube by squeezing a computer-controlled hand grip. They will also be timed on a fruit-picking task. After 12-25 weeks of this, with 200-400 trials per day, the monkeys will develop hand dystonia characterized by posturing of the hand, and reduced ability to perform motor tasks. The experimenters then surgically destroy a part of the monkeys' brains (their basal ganglia) to see if the monkeys would improve.
CAT EXPERIMENTS: Kenneth D. Miller
Title: Studies of Cortical and Lateral Geniculate Response Properties and Circuitry Using Simultaneous Many-Cellular Recording.
Purpose: “To understand the functional organization of the visual cortex and more generally of the cerebral cortex…Simultaneous observation of multiple cells allows inference of intracellular relationships and circuitry not possible through observations of single cells.”
Procedures: The cats are anesthetized, placed in a restraining device and hung by the lower spine with a wire. Muscles around the lower spine are cut away where the wire enters the body. This is to minimize breathing movements while recording brain activity. The scalp is cut open, an opening made on the skull and recording devices inserted. Then the cat is paralyzed with a neuromuscular blocking drug, which makes it essentially impossible to determine whether the cat is in pain or not. Furthermore, the lower the anesthetics used, the better the brain electrical recordings will be. To ensure absolutely no eye movement, the eyeballs are glued to metal pads that are attached to posts. For the glue to work, the outermost layer of the eyeball is removed. The cat’s brain is further cut open to expose the “visual cortex and subcortical structures (including lateral geniculate nucleus, superior colliculus, and optic nerves, tracts, and radiations)” into which electrodes would be inserted.
Michael P. Stryker (Began in 1977)
Title 1: The Role of Sleep in Developmental Plasticity
Title 2: Development and Plasticity of the Visual System
(Stryker has been torturing kittens, ferrets and other animals since 1977. No useful information has ever been obtained from his work that would help humans by depriving animals of sight and sleep, then cutting their brains open to look at so-called “re-wiring." The experimenters were only able to brag of one conclusion from their work: sleep and sight deprivation affects brain development – which anyone with common sense should already know.)
To learn about the details of Stryker's barbaric experiments, please visit:
In Defense of Animals’ web site on Stryker:
Russell L. Snyder
Title: Plasticity in the Auditory Nervous System
Purpose: To “examine physiological and anatomical consequences” of destroying parts of the cats’ spiral ganglion (hearing nerves).
Procedures: In a nutshell, the cats’ (and guinea pigs’) heads are cut open and their brains mapped invasively by removing parts of the brain and by destroying nerves. All subjects are eventually euthanized.
Patricia A. Leake
Title: Development and Connections of the Cochlear Spiral Ganglion.
Purpose: To “improve our understanding of…normal development of the auditory system and will help to define the critical and sensitive periods of postnatal maturation in mammals."
Procedures: Kittens removed via Caesarian sections from their mothers at 58 days of gestation are injected with tracers immediately or 1-3 days later. Kittens removed via C-sections at 60 days of gestation have part of their hearing nerves destroyed using laser or micropipette, and then are killed at 12 weeks in terminal procedures described below. The mothers will be “retired" as breeders and/or used in subsequent terminal experiments.
One-day to one-month-old kittens are deafened by 16-25 daily injections of the antibiotic neomycin sulfate. The deafened kittens will be studied at various ages up to 12 months to “evaluate the effect on the central projections of the auditory nerve." They will undergo terminal surgery when both ears will be cut open and tracers injected into the inner ears. They are maintained under “light anesthesia” with sodium pentobarbital for another 4-10 hours to allow the tracer to work through the nerves. After another round of injections into the inner ears, they are euthanized.
Another group of deafened kittens, 6-7 weeks old, will receive a cochlear prosthetic device implant for later chronic electrical stimulation. To prevent the kittens from scratching and damaging their implants, their hind feet are declawed. Chronic electrical stimulation is administered 4 hours per day, 5 days per week for 12-45 weeks. They will then undergo terminal surgery. The outer part of their brains will be suctioned away to expose the inside. Electrical responses to stimulation are then recorded within the brain continuously for a period of 2-3 days, with a team of experimenters working in shifts around the clock. Finally, a tracer is injected and they are euthanized.