Posted by: fireweaver | November 19, 2008

funny, those curve balls

being a lab animal vet, there are often times where you have to do some odd things.  generally, “odd” falls under the heading of “model development”, which means you’re helping a researcher determine the exact best ways to get data that replicates the target human condition.  sometimes, though, “odd” means pretty much exactly that.

part of bringing a new drug into the clinic involves making sure it’s safe, and one aspect of that is ocular safety.  before you start the study, you give the animals in question a thorough physical exam, making sure there’s no abnormalities of the skeleton or joints or muscles; for this particular bit of the whole, we’ll be doing thorough eye exams as well.  ya gotta make sure the retina is nice & smooth along the back of the eyeball, the blood vessels in there are all nice & intact, the cornea is totally see-through, the same stuff any human would be getting whenever that lamp on a wand gets shone into their eyes as part of an eye exam in their doctor’s office.

same thing that happens in vet offices all over the place for dogs & cats.

only i’m going to be doing this with a triple handful of rats tomorrow am.  it’s the exact same technique, to be sure.  same quality, same game, same criteria for normal or not.  but it cracks me up that those lil beady pink eyes can be looked at with the same seriousness.  it shouldn’t, really, that being the whole point of what i do (that data from “lesser” animals translates up to higher animals and up to man), but i’m likewise fascinated by high-power fluoroscopy & x-ray machines for tiny mice.

i suppose the nutshell here is that a)science is cool! and b)it totally keeps me amused.


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