Thursday, August 04, 2005

not so confused

in an attempt to clarify their razor-sharp predatory cleverness, the foxes sent an emissary to eat my rabbit. not my personal rabbit. but still...

hmm. maybe that requires further explanation. as many of you know, i am deeply embroiled in a PhD in Clinical Sciences.

'Clinical Sciences? what's that mean?' i hear you mutter.

never mind what it is. focus on the story, alright? okay then.

most of my research revolves around the possibility that we are creating disease by inadvertantly injecting cat proteins into cats along with their vaccines. note i said possibility. unlike the 'scientists' advocating intelligent design, i actually believe in science and the scientific method and not making things up. [this is not to say that i don't believe in the burgeoning field of Scientific Crustaceanism or the all-seeing all-knowing Lobster, but still.] as Bush has yet to outlaw it, i still practice the hard science of science and so am engaged in careful and pedantic study to confirm or refute the possibility of a problem.

anyway. where was i? oh yeah. research.

most of my research focuses on antibody development secondary to vaccination and identification of the proteins involved. to do antibody research, it is important to have antibody of a different species than the target species. to whit, a rabbit. antibody is generated by injecting small doses of the target substance repeatedly over time- a somewhat time-consuming and costly process.

now, it is common practice in laboratory medicine to limit the amount of animals involved by acquiring maximal quantities of the target substance from each individual. serum, as you may or may not know, is a part of blood. so acquiring maximal quantities in this context means

(wait for it... )

humanely bleeding the rabbit to death.

what some of you may not realize is that my boss doesn't like killing things. neither do i. we don't engage in terminal research on cats, and rabbits aren't all that different from cats.


even though we would never see the rabbit, the idea of a dead rabbit made us sad. therefore, it wasn't a hard sell when one of the technicians asked to adopt Rosemary last year. that is the rabbit-Rosemary was her name. Rosemary was adopted out first to the technician and then into a home of devoted rabbit people. the deal was that Rosemary would return as needed to give safe quantities of blood so that research could continue to clarify this issue and maybe even save cats' lives.

as i am now entering serious lab time and the experiments multiply like, well, rabbits about my feet, we need serum. an email was sent out to Rosemary's ma.

but alas and alack. while frolicking about in her heretofore believed to be fox-proof yard enclosure, Rosemary was devoured by a stray fox.

so. here we are. no serum, no rabbit.

tomorrow we will place orders to start growing another rabbit. this, unfortunately, takes several months. after which we will again be faced with the dilemma of harvesting all the sera or adopting out the new rabbit.

originally, in addition of course to feeling sad for little Rosemary and her family, i found it quite a blow. now i find it pleasingly ironic (but still sad).

my boss made a big fuss about the wastefulness of it all. still no rabbit but now no sera as well! but we both know damn well he was grateful someone suggested a home for the rabbit. we also both know damn well that when the time comes we will be looking for another adoptive family.

preferably an urban family,

with really big fences...

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