UK bans Mephedrone

April 8, 2010

The UK House of Lords has followed the riff-raff MPs in voting for a ban of the previously uncontrolled recreational drug 4-methymethcathinone (4-MMC, mephedrone, meow-meow, plant-food, etc). Prior observations from me are here and here.
This is a good opportunity to point to the report on the cathinones [ pdf ] that was created by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. This more or less echos my points in my prior posts that while we may know a bit about cathinones the available scientific knowledge is pretty pathetic compared to the amphetamine-class drugs. And essentially nothing has been published on 4-MMC/mephedrone.

Wow, has it really been a year? Time for the second annual rally in support of biomedical research. I’ll quote liberally from the UCLA Pro-Test for Science bit hosted at Speaking of Research:

In 2009, Pro-Test for Science held an historic rally on the UCLA campus; bringing over 700 people onto the streets in support of the scientists and researchers who carry out lifesaving medical research using laboratory animals. Such research continues to advance scientific knowledge and plays a vital role in the development of innovative treatments for human disease. However, animal rights extremists have continued to escalate their threats against researchers and their families.
On Thursday April 8th Pro-Test for Science will respond by rallying students, scientists and members of the public to support the cause of medical science. We call on the community to stand together against the recent tide of animal rights activism which has worked to misrepresent research and coerce those that carry it out.

A video from the rally held last year.

If you cannot attend perhaps you might want to take a look around Janet Stemwedel’s blog. She has a number of thoughtful entries on topic of Research with Animals that are fantastic starting points for your own discussions that you will be having with your friends, family and colleagues. My own posts on the topic are perhaps less fulfilling but you may find a nugget or two. I would point you specifically to the Lie of the Truncated Distribution, an introduction to the heavily regulated activity of animal research, a description of additional guidelines that carry the weight of law and regulation and why the use of mice and rats is well regulated despite the Helms amendment.
You might also read a computer guy demolishing the myth that animal research can be replaced with computer simulations and an extensive and link-heavy discussion of typical animal rights’ extremist tropes from Orac.
Happy reading.