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Do-it-yourself animal research

27 May 2011

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Category: Schools education

scientist.jpgIt is often said that the only way to really learn anything is to do it yourself.

The UAR education team will be putting this principle into practice at this year’s Cheltenham Science Festival by giving young people the chance to be an animal technician for a day (or for 10 minutes, anyway) and to take a blood sample from a rat’s tail in the same way the professionals do it.

It won’t be a real rat, of course, that wouldn’t be right (or legal), but a lifelike replica that has been specially designed to train scientists and technicians in the delicate task of blood sampling. The exercise will help young people understand what a skilled job working with research animals is, just what is involved in a mild animal procedure, and how much work is done to make sure that the welfare of the animals is properly protected.

To make sure that we are doing it right, the UAR team will be coached by the best, thanks to the generosity of the AstraZeneca technical staff. If you want to see how we get on, come and find us in the Waterstone's Book Tent in the Imperial Gardens, Cheltenham from 13:30 on Thursday 9 and Friday 10 June where we will be sharing a stall with the Society of Immunology.