Friday, April 20, 2012

R is for Research

There's no doubt that research has it's place, but you have to feel for the rats. I was listening to a How Stuff Works podcast today on how much sleep is enough sleep. The general consensus is that it's 6 to 8 hours a night for the average person (surprisingly they didn't mention how much a gifted person needs) - and they know this from ... research. It seems that a fair bit of the research involves rats, especially when it has to do with sleep deprivation - and we're not talking about the way it's used as a method of torture here. The University of Chicago has done research with people - 10 healthy men in their 20's - and after only 6 days of sleeping for only 4 hours a night the men developed signs of pre-diabetes. The report didn't say which of these studies was conducted first, but the other one they mentioned was with rats, where severe sleep deprivation effectively cut their life span from three years to three weeks! How incredible is that? Are lab rats especially bred for research purposes? And if they are, does this make it better? I can't help but imagine what the uproar would be if they did this with people.

2 comments:

mauz said...

Poor little rats. Much maligned, yet they make sweet, intelligent pets that seem to enjoy interaction with their humans.

Timothy Brannan said...

Lab rats are specially bred.
And typically they have a better life expectancy than wild rats.

I used to get irritated and people where I worked talking about setting all the rats free, till I mentioned that generations of rats have lived in labs for so long they have no idea how get food or survive in the wild, they would all be dead in a matter of days.

I am trying to read all the A to Z blogs, but coming back to the ones I really like.
Looking forward to seeing what you do all month!

Tim
The Other Side
The Freedom of Nonbelief