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Lecture 1

BIMS 201 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Institutional Animal Care And Use Committee, Electric Light, Mutation

Biomedical Science
Course Code
BIMS 201
Elizabeth A.Crouch

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Science as a Social Problem—Discussion Q’s
Give an example of how science is affected by
o a) politics: affects what gets researched @ time; funding for NSF, allocation of
ex: WW2 nuclear warheads; legislative debate around public policy in sci.
o b) ethics/ethical problem
animal mistreatment
testing of sudden infant death syndrome on cats; protocols w/animal
can make (-) assumptions on projects
do the ends justify the means?
o c) economic problems: GMO agriculture; tomatoes; helped big businesses, but
fam. farmers suffered (who should be helped)
How do you see science? Is it for the public good or for private interest?
o Patents create means for private companies to produce a product for profit
o Inventions (ex: lightbulb) can positively affect lg. segment of pop.
o Sharing info=possible and therefore competitive
o Scientific breakthroughs always have neg. impact as well (gov’t vs. sci.)
(+) ex: disease eradication
“Science no longer pursues research for knowledge purposes only. Scientists are
publishing results, instead, to manufacture commodities and patents.” With respect to
o a) Who owns a DNA sequence?
o b) Who owns a cell?
o c) Who owns a cell line? (Henrietta Lacksprecedence)
o until person signs consent to turn over DNA, they own it. Then institution owns it.
Today, what gets known depends on the interests of social institutions or movements
outside of science. Give an example.
o $, power, big business
o ex: Michelle ObamaEating Healthy campaign
changes in school lunches (+), obesity research
o ex: Zika virus
o correlation vs. causation
o political stance affects sci.
beliefs and lobbying
Science happens within our collective moral limitations.
o How do you feel about animal research?
It’s necessary but must be ethical
Animal Welfare Act doesn’t cover primates, rodents, cold-blooded; where
is the line? Ethics vs. logic (is it right)
IACUC: institutional committee oversees animal research
o What is the difference between a disease and a trait?
Diseases have a super negative connotation among the general pop.
find more resources at
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