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Get to Know Your Local Laboratories: The Balaban Lab

 (Originally published in 2009)

The laboratory of Carey D. Balaban  focuses on the vestibular system. The vestibular system resides in the inner ear and is responsible for control of balance among other things in many animals. When this system is disrupted, many problems result including but not limited to, loss of balance, vertigo, nausea, confusion, anxiety, and so on. The Balaban lab induces many of these problems in nonhuman primates, mice, rats, and chinchillas who are imprisoned in laboratory cages.

The Balaban lab is funded by at least one grant (made up of our tax dollars) from the NIH. His current project is funded up until 2014 and has been going on since 1990 [1], all with money from our pockets. During these 24 years*, Balaban has been buying animals, confining them to cages, giving them painful surgeries, implanting machinery in their heads, injuring parts of their vestibular systems, forcing them to perform tasks, and killing them. In his grant, he claims that his research “reflects the recognition that there are very strong parallels in principles of organization of pain and balance pathways.” [1] This can only be shown by putting animals through pain and suffering.

In one study, Balaban and colleages took female macaques, surgically implanted lugs in their heads for restraining them later, implanted coils in their eyelids, and implanted a neural recording chamber in their brains. Only two weeks later, they were attached by the restraints implanted in their heads to a chair, then placed them on a moveable table which rotated them in various orientations while their brain activity was monitored. [2] In another study, Balaban and other researchers induced tinnitis in rats using acid before killing them and examining their vestibular systems [3]. In another study, Balaban and colleagues injected drugs into the inner ears of chinchillas before killing them and examining the tissue [4]. The list goes on.

Even more disconcerting is that Balaban’s project has lasted 25 years studying the same thing on our dollar. However, there is little information about this research available to the public.

Carey D Balaban can be contacted at [email protected]
Office: 107 Eye & Ear Institute
Telephone:412-647-2298
Fax:412-647-8720

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*This refers to his current grant. Balaban has experimented on animals longer than this.

References
[1] Balaban Grant Info
[2] Carey D. Balaban, David M. McGee, Jianxun Zhou, and Charles A. Scudder. Responses of Primate Caudal Parabrachial Nucleus and Kölliker-Fuse Nucleus Neurons to Whole Body Rotation.
[3] Tadashi Kitahara, MD PhD (presenter), Kaoru Kizawa-Okumura, MD, Arata Horii, MD, Takeshi Kubo, MD, Carey D. Balaban, PhD. (2006). Salicylate-Induced TRPV1 in the Rat Auditory Pathway. Otolaryngology- head and neck surgery. 135(2). 126-127.
[4] Roehm, P., Hoffer, M. and Balaban, C.D. Gentamicin uptake in the chinchilla inner ear. (2007). Hear Res.



This post first appeared on Pittsburgh Association For The Abolition Of Vivisection, please read the originial post: here

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Get to Know Your Local Laboratories: The Balaban Lab

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