23 January 2009

Biological costs

Expanding a bit on relative costs of different kinds of research... Something I noticed while at a trip to the pet store to pick up supplies and animals.

  • Grass shrimp: 33¢
  • Guppy: $3.00
  • Mouse: $30.00

That's a hundredfold cost difference in research subjects. Many years ago, I heard researchers say the cost of a single cat was $300, which would make for a thousandfold difference in cost of subjects. And that's not including animal care.

Now, I am not taking shots at the science done using mammals as research subjects. But maybe the recession will create an opportunity for people working on invertebrates to make the case that funding research in invertebrates is very cost efficient way of doing good science.

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