TODAY IS DAY 6 OF OUR BIGGEST EXPOSÉ YET
It's the 6th day of our 12 Days of Christmas University of Otago exposé!
Today, the experiment we're exposing is incredibly hard to hear about as it involves mother rats and their babies...
Pregnant rats were injected to try and cause schizophrenia in their babies. After giving birth, all but 6 baby rats per mum were killed. The surviving babies were separated from their mum at 21 days old, were later repeatedly startled by loud noises, had electrodes implanted in their brains and were finally killed by flushing their hearts. All to try and prove that infecting the mother would cause this kind of damage to the brain…
- Pregnant rats were injected with a substance to try and damage the developing brains of their babies.
- Each mother was allowed to keep only some of her babies, before they were separated 21 days after birth.
- To see if the toxin worked, the young rats were subject to loud noises repeatedly for 35 minutes.
- After these tests, the young rats had electrodes surgically implanted into their heads.
- Their brains were drilled open and an electrode was pushed in and attached with dental cement.
- The researchers also wanted to insert “movable” electrodes into the animals so, they constructed a DIY electrode-holder out of the tip of a ballpoint pen. This was cemented inside the rats’ heads too.
- Rats were made to forage in a big round box by themselves multiple times. Each time, the movable electrodes were pushed deeper and deeper into their brains.
- In the end, they were all killed. Their chests were opened, and blood was drained from their hearts.
Schizophrenia is a serious and complicated mental health disorder that rats don’t naturally suffer from. Yet, the University of Otago purposely damaged the brains of baby rats to try and give them schizophrenia-like symptoms.
Poisoning a mother rat, taking her babies and subjecting them to cruel tests shows us nothing about an extremely complex human disorder. Animal testing is both cruel and unreliable.