TEEN GETS APOLOGY, STATE FAIR INVITATION.
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Associated Press (AP)
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A teen-ager banned from a regional science fair because his experiment was deemed cruel to fruit flies has received an apology - and an invitation to the state competition.
Ari Hoffman, whose experiment showed that the flies' reproductive rate dropped when radiation levels rose, won first prize at a recent Marin County science fair.
But officials from the Bay Area Science Fair disqualified dis·qual·i·fy
tr.v. dis·qual·i·fied, dis·qual·i·fy·ing, dis·qual·i·fies
a. To render unqualified or unfit.
b. To declare unqualified or ineligible.
2. him from their competition, which included about 300 entries. The experiment, they said, conflicted with the fair's rules against cruelty to animals cruelty to animals n. the crime of inflicting physical pain, suffering or death on an animal, usually a tame one, beyond necessity for normal discipline. It can include neglect that is so monstrous (withholding food and water) that the animal has suffered, died or , both vertebrates and invertebrates.
The 15-year-old student is expected to compete in the state science fair in Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. in May.
``I'm glad they did it,'' Hoffman said. ``I never felt I was cruel to animals.''
The school district presented him a plaque last week for standing up for his beliefs.
``We really felt that you represent what we want kids to do in science,'' said district Superintendent Bill Levinson.
Hoffman's science teacher, Hether Holter, confirmed that he would take part in the state competition.
``I think his project is excellent,'' she said.
Some of the flies never woke up from the anesthesia, possibly due to exposure to radiation, Hoffman said. Others were euthanized because they became infected with mites.
But otherwise, he thinks the flies were pampered pam·per
tr.v. pam·pered, pam·per·ing, pam·pers
1. To treat with excessive indulgence: pampered their child.
``I wasn't being cruel to them,'' he said. ``The life they lived was actually a good life.''
For example, he said the flies were kept in tropical temperatures and fed well during the 10-week-long project.
His father, Dr. William Y. Hoffman, worked on the experiment with his son and agreed the bugs were not treated badly.
``There was no point when we looked at a vial and it was full of dead flies,'' said the elder Hoffman, a plastic surgeon plastic surgeon A surgeon specialized in reconstruction or cosmetic enhancement of various body regions, most commonly the face–nose, chin, and cheeks, breasts and buttocks; PSs remove fat deposits through liposuction; PSs reduce scarring or disfigurement at the University of California, San Francisco , where the radiation treatments took place.
He said that, if anything, his son was simply too graphic in his written description of the flies' deaths, which he submitted to science fair officials.