This is kinda messed up. Video footage from the Coachella festival depicts what appears to be police screwing up. It is making the rounds so you may have already seen it. In case you don’t want to click through for the NSFW video, I’ll summarize.
Guy nudes up, police object, nekkid guy starts babbling about feeling beautiful (hello!), police try to talk him into putting his clothes back on. obviously high on something other than life and the music, nekkid guy….doesn’t. Not resisting, just refusing. After a very long time in close contact with nekkid guy, when they clearly could have just cuffed him already, something triggers the police to beat him up a little. Nice little knee drop to the abdomen and (gee, whaddaya know) nekkid dude starts trying to get away. Yeah, don’t think we didn’t notice the supposed pain-holds in the finger and wrist department. Eventually it devolves into throwing on the ground and repeatedly tasering the guy.
I dunno, it is really so hard to think that just maybe a guy high on drugs isn't going to actually comply with what you want him to do? And maybe you should just de-escalate the thing right from the start by cuffing him? Is it sooooo freaking important that you get his clothes back on him that you try to argue him into it? How may times does that usually work anyway? Srsly.
Alright, video after the jump. NSFW. Might shock kids and those of a sensitive constitution. Don't say I didn't warn you…

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The reporter for Science Magazine who was twittering (@dosmonos) the rally today has put up a summary post on the blog ScienceInsider.

The organizers of today’s Pro-Test rally at University of California, Los Angeles, say it succeeded beyond their hopes. Hundreds of people–many of them students and postdocs–came out to show their support for biomedical research. U.S. scientists who use animals in their research have been under attack from animal rights extremists in recent years, and UCLA has been the epicenter. Many scientists have been reluctant to speak up in defense of their work for fear of provoking further harassment. But today that changed.

KCAL 9 / CBS 2 report is here.
CNN coverage after the jump.

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Pro-Test Open Thread

April 22, 2009

For anything you might want to say in favor of animal research or against ARA terrorism.
Anyone at the UCLA rally feel free to drop updates and vibe for the home crowd to appreciate!
@dosmonos is Twittering the rally
Update: I think I figured out how to post the dosmonos tweets here for those of you who are not Twitts.

    follow me on Twitter

    Update: initial reports are for 600-700 attendees at the Pro-Test rally versus maybe 30 counter-protesters. Keep in mind that LA has been a hotbed for the ARA activity over the past years. And this is the ratio? Yup, sounds about right. Those who oppose well-regulated scientific research are in the distinct minority.

    The FBI placed Daniel Andreas San Diego on it’s Most Wanted list of terrorists. He is apparently the first domestic terrorist to be added to a list which mostly contains international figures. The news release from the FBI:

    “We have added San Diego to the Most Wanted Terrorists list to increase public awareness about this domestic terrorist fugitive and to aid in his arrest,” said Michael J. Heimbach, Assistant Director of our Counterterrorism Division, at a press conference today at FBI Headquarters in Washington. “We will not relent until San Diego is apprehended and his potential for future acts of violence and destruction is eliminated.”
    Animal rights and environmental extremism pose a significant domestic terror threat. To date, extremists have been responsible for more than 1,800 criminal acts and more than $110 million in damages. Currently, we are investigating approximately 170 such extremist incidents across the country.

    San Diego was initially identified as a suspect after being stopped by a local police officer for a minor traffic violation in Pleasanton about an hour before the Pleasanton bombing. A subsequent search of his home and vehicle revealed bomb-making materials similar to those used in both attacks, and he was later indicted for the crimes.
    San Diego has been on the run since October 2003. He is six feet tall, weighs about 160 pounds, and has brown hair and brown eyes. He wears glasses, is known to carry a 9mm handgun, has traveled internationally, and may be living out of the country, possibly in Costa Rica. He is a vegan, and avoids consuming or wearing anything made with animal products. He also has distinctive tattoos–one on his chest is round and shows burning hills and plains with the words “It only takes a spark.”

    Nice guy. An agent involved with the manhunt notes:

    “The second bomb actually was wrapped in nails, and we believe it was intended to harm or kill the first responders.”

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    A comment on a previous post alleged that the scientific enterprise has not taken the 3Rs (Reduction, Replacement and Refinement) seriously, leading to a failure to reduce the number of animals used in research. Subsequent comments from Paul Browne and Luigi provided links to actual data which refute this claim, however it remains an interesting question to explore.
    One of the thornier problems in thinking about the justification of using animals is when two or more laudable goals call for opposing solutions. For today’s edition of virtual IACUC we will consider what to do when Refinement calls for the use of more animals, in obvious conflict with Reduction.

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    "Everybody Look Busy"

    April 20, 2009

    Maybe it is just me but just when local institutions are feeling the pinch and squeezing their investigators…..there seems to have been a flurry of emails from the brass. Deans and Vice-Whatnots have increased their production of *announcements several fold. Is this just me? I’ve been seeing this from more than one institution.
    I’m reminded of the old bit of advice as to what to do given that Jesus is coming…
    *Many of course announcing some new management hire which is just…..really, really, really bad PR in this day and age. (Here’s a hint on that one…your golden geese NIH grant drones don’t want to hear it. Really.)

    Dame Janet of La Mancha has launched an admirable series of posts which attempt to dissect the discussion-stoppers which impede progress when advocates of science and advocates of animal rights talk. She has this impossible dream that perhaps by recognizing these consistent traps, those of us who wish to advance understanding of our position in a rational adult, meaningful way can move forward.
    TDtID: Part 1
    TDtID: Part 2
    TDtID: Part 3
    As we are in the midst of a traditional week-o-ARA-wackaloonery and two days away from the first US Pro-Test rally (at UCLA) this is all highly topical. Why not take some time to do a little bit of reading and thinking about these issues? After all, it is only the continued health and well being of yourself, your family, your friends and neighbors that is at stake.
    To watch a current exemplar of the traditional “discussion” to which Janet refers, wander on over to the Facebook page for UCLA Pro-Test. Some of the usual superficial ARA critics have emerged to attempt a dialog. You may want to create your own bingo card from Janet’s posts to keep score of the discussion.
    To date the most interesting reading has arisen in a link offered by Paul Browne of Speaking Of Research.
    This whole thing reminds me that I never put up a link to Mark Chu-Carroll’s post on animal research. Wait, why’s some computer / math dude chiming in? Well, one of the more spectacularly false-on-the-face assertions that seems to carry weight with the ARA position is the contention that research can all be done “with computer models”. This does not make any sense to anyone who has ever tried to program a computer and Mark does an excellent job of explaining why.

    Wiiiiiiiiilllddd Horses

    April 16, 2009

    song chart memes
    see more Funny Graphs

    [h/t: laelaps]

    Nature has an interview of neuroscientist J. David Jentsch, Ph.D. who received a recent visitation from the extremist terrorist arm of the Animal Rights movement.

    “It was 4 a.m. on Saturday 7 March. I was awakened by a loud bang; then I heard the car alarm go off. I went to the window and saw my car on fire. I ran outside to try to put it out, using a fire extinguisher and a garden hose. It was impossible. The gas tank had exploded. When the windows started exploding, I got out of there. The fire got into the trees. If this was July in fire season, I don’t want to even think about what would have happened. It would have been an enormous fire with many homes threatened. No one was injured.”

    As I noted before, this led to the formation of a UCLA chapter of Pro-Test which will be staging a rally in support of animal research on the UCLA campus on April 22. If you are within handy driving distance and can spare the time, please attend. If you are not near UCLA but are on Facebook please consider joining the UCLA Pro-Test Facebook group. One of the primary goals of Pro-Test is to make the supporters of animal research more visible so as to counter the numerically much smaller but more publicly vocal ARA terrorists and supporters. Increasing the membership on Facebook will help with this goal.
    Related: The LA Times published a bit on this April 13.
    Update: Professor Jentsch on KABC 790 podcast.

    Thank You, US Taxpayer!

    April 15, 2009

    According to the prior head of the NIH, Elias Zerhouni, the NIH budget for the Fiscal Year of 2006 amounted to about $96 per person. The NIH budget from 2005 through that proposed for 2009 increased from $28.5 to $29.5 billion. There were about 138 million US taxpayers in 2007 when the NIH budget was $29 billion so I make this out to be $210 per taxpayer. It isn’t really clear to me if Zerhouni’s “per person” meant per taxpayer or included dependents. So I’ll stick with the $210 number.
    I’d encourage you to look at your federal tax bill and divide $210 by that number. For most of you, I assume, this is not going to be a big number. Probably 1-2% of your federal tax obligation at the worst. But still, it is real money that you could be spending elsewhere if we did not have a taxpayer funded research grant system such as we have in the US.
    So I thank you on this day of federal tax reckoning, Dear US taxpaying readers.
    Thanks for supporting the work that is helping with many issues of personal and public health. From the effects of infectious epidemics, to treatments and cures for various cancers, metabolic disorders, cardiovascular problems, mental and behavioral disorders, traumatic injury…. the list of health issues goes on. Each and every day, teams of scientists around the US and the world are working on new information, diagnostics, treatments and cures which move us incrementally forward on all fronts of public health. These improvements are a lasting legacy that benefit not just current and future American citizens but the entire world population.
    Thanks to your $210 per year investment.

    Quite a while back, I began–but never completed–a series on how to structure an effective R01 application. So far we have covered the Specific Aims and Background & Significance sections. Although the next consecutive section of an R01 app is the Preliminary Studies, in response to reader requests, we will skip over that for now and treat the Research Design & Methods. This is the section of the grant where you flesh out your Specific Aims in detail, and provide the specifics of your experimental plans.
    (Detailed guidelines are inside the crack.)

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    Browsing over DamnGoodTechnician’s recent posts for the one I was going to excoriate gently discuss, I ran across this gem:

    Part of my project has been to recapitulate the results from a fairly recent Nature paper. I’m not sure how many of you have attempted this feat, but I believe deciphering the Rosetta Stone may have been simpler. What concentration of these ingredients did you use? WHICH of these ingredients did you use? How long? How many media changes? Transfection? Infection? Gack. The kicker is that the protocol induces a switch in cell fate, and the timecourse for that change is more or less two weeks, so any conditions I set up today as a “Let’s see if this set of conditions proves you guys weren’t lying” experiment won’t be ready to go until nearly May.
    I’ve been banging my head on this protocol for about two months now


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    This is such a multi-faceted story I barely know where to start. A recent piece in The Scientist serves as a convenient example of how local research institutes and universities are dealing with shrinking investment income, declining grant success of their staff and a need to think about the future. Although this focuses on one institute and one investigator, no doubt there are other similar situations going on elsewhere.
    A news item posted by Elie Dolgin on April 8, 2009 reviews a recent disagreement between the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and Stephen F. Heinemann, Ph.D. [lab website]. From the Dolgin piece:

    Then the economy tanked, and in January Salk halted all funding stemming from the Salk Institute Council Endowment, which supported Heinemann’s endowed chair position and a sizeable chunk of his research. Heinemann still held two grants from the NIH and received support from a private foundation. But with an active mouse research lab that cost north of half a million dollars each year, he couldn’t make ends meet without the endowment that paid for 30-40% of his operating costs as well as his salary.

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    Our little Easter Egg hunt was fun for me and apparently fun for several readers as well. I received 14 baskets including one obvious cheaterpants and two after the deadline (tsk, tsk).
    I am still doing a little scoring and cross checking however it is very likely that at least two of our winners will be the ones who found 11 eggs each.

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    April 12, 2009

    The DrugMonkey blog Easter Egg hunt is on!

    MonkeyEgg.jpgThere are 10 of these Easter Eggs hidden on blog posts published within the past 12 months. To narrow your search a little more, the posts are all written by me and are related to substance abuse and dependence in some way.
    The rules are quite simple. Find the eggs and email me (drugmonkey at scienceblogs period com) the list of 10 posts on which they are hidden in the order in which you found them. Three winners will be selected (at random in the case of ties) from those who email me the location of the most eggs by midnight EDT.
    TshirtBack1.jpgWinners will receive the usual Commenter Appreciation Prizes, i.e. cafepress gift certificates that can be spent at the DM shop or other cafepress storefronts.
    Happy Hunting!