HIV attack on neuroscientist raises eyebrows


David Jentsch, a UCLA neuroscientist who conducts controversial research on live primates and rodents, received a package earlier this month containing razor blades and a threatening message according to a report today in the LA Times. A post on the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) website points to "liberation activists identifying themselves as members of the Justice Department" as the party claiming to have sent Jentsch and a UCLA colleague HIV-tainted razor blades. (The LA Times initially reported that the ALF itself claimed responsibility).

Jentsch is the head of a pro-vivisection advocacy group. His past research, much of it funded by the NIH, includes tests on monkeys that animal rights activists find particularly reprehensible: one involved injecting vervets in "squeeze cages" twice a day with high doses of PCP, then killing them and examining their brains; other projects involved similar procedures with methamphetamine.

"How would Jentsch like the same thing he does to primates to be done to him?" the ALF's statement said.

In March 2009, Jentsch's vehicle burned outside of his Sherman Oaks residence in a "suspicious arson attack." The ALF claimed responsibility for that attack.

So, let's get to the comments. Best analogy comparing either the ALF or the neuroscientist to Hitler wins a pony. Go!

Below, vervet monkeys that are not on PCP. (CC-licensed image courtesy of Roo Reynolds, via Flickr.)