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Animal-abuse case update.

Federal funding for the University of Pennsylvania's head-injury research involving baboons will remain under suspension, Health and Human Services Secretary MArgaret M. Heckler announced last week. That research was shut down in mid-July amidst allegations of possible laboratory-animal abuse (SN: 7/27/85, p.53). In a Sept. 23 letter to Edward Stemmler, dean of the university's medical school, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director James Wyngaarden listed what changes and written assurances would be necessary before its funding of the project could be resumed. However, Wyngaarden added, even if NH resumed funding, this particular University of Pennsylvania project would be under a five-year probationary scrutiny that would include, among other things, unannounced site inspections.

Investigations and videotapes of the head-injury research project caused Wyngaarden to conclude "that the university failed materially to comply with the terms and conditions of [its NIH contract] with respect to the care and use of nonhuman primates...." In particular, NIH identified:

* unacceptable variation in the management of anesthesia, analgesia and sedation.

* animal surgery under conditions and techniques that might not be sterile.

* lack of proper training and immediate supervision for laboratory assistants working with animals.

* inadequate participation by the staff veterinarian in choice and use of drugs and anesthetics.

* staff who "failed to maintain high standards of cleanliness" and who ate, drank and smoked during animal work.
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Title Annotation:head-injury research at University of Pennsylvania
Publication:Science News
Date:Oct 12, 1985
Words:223
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