Confirmed victory
Petitioning Charles Bolden and 2 others

TELL NASA TO STOP NUKING MONKEYS


742
Supporters

For the first time in decades (since chimps in space) NASA is conducting
radiation tests on squirrel monkeys.

Irradiating monkeys calls for experimenters to repeatedly blast restrained
animals with gamma rays comparable to three years in space. Once tests
conclude at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York, the monkeys spend
their lives as test subjects in a Harvard Medical School project.

Letter to
Charles Bolden
Morrie Goodman
Stephanie Schierholz
I stand behind NASA's mission. However, the use of live animals in space
radiation tests is a major leap backward for humankind. Please do not
subject squirrel monkeys to high-energy gamma-ray radiation to assess human
response to long-term space voyages.

I agree that space radiation may endanger astronauts traveling far
distances, such as a trip to Mars. But animal experiments generate
misleading results. Physiological, anatomical, and psychological variations
between species make accurate extrapolation to humans unlikely. And while
primates and humans share genetic likeness, their disease process and
treatment differ tremendously. It is precarious to base "neurobehavioral
effects of radiation on humans" upon non-predictive monkey tests.

I encourage NASA to continue utilizing animal-free technology, such as in
vitro methods with cellular components of human derivation. As you know,
modern bioengineers have devised models with blood vessels and organ
characteristics that better imitate human tissue function and design. A
March 2009 Biotechnology and Bioengineering report details these 3D cellular
systems derived from "building blocks" of active human cells.

Irradiating monkeys calls for experimenters to repeatedly blast restrained
animals with gamma rays comparable to three years in space. Once tests
conclude at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York, the monkeys spend
their lives as test subjects in a Harvard Medical School project.

Renowned primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall has shown that primates form social
unions and experience complex emotions. Certainly, these sentient creatures
experience pain and loneliness. I respectfully ask Administrator Bolden and
his NASA colleagues to end this pointless cruelty.

Thank you,