Human Practice

We decided to put on line the various answers we had from the survey. However as some team members requested, those answers are anonymous.

Some of them were in English, others were in French. For the French ones, translations will come during the summer.

First Survey

E/ What difference do you make between experimenting on bacteria and on tadpoles?

At first thought, there is a huge difference, as tadpoles develops a brain and neuronal activity closer to "emotions" for which you may have sympathy. Nevertheless, went thinking through all this, I don't think it much different "per se" but only in our ability to care less for things we barely can see and interact with, let alone identify with... In the end, when looking at nature, I don't see morality. I see very tough laws (darwinian evolution is mainly about letting unadapted organisms die), and how beautiful nature's answer to this pressure are. I look at evolution and find so exciting how some organisms (or more properly, groups of organisms) have found "shelters" to Darwininan death selection, creating multicellular organisms, collective behaviours, nursing from parents to allow unviable new-borns to acheive maturity etc... To me, modifying frog or other organisms is not a way of controlling them, neither it is against the laws of nature (if it were, they would die anyway). To me, it is a was to develop a new symbiosis, which imply interdependency. In this setting, mankind will depend on these organisms, and will have to treat them well. People usually don't think of the dependence on animals BS creates, they only think about control (anthropocentric view). But I prefer being dependent on Bioengineered frogs, rather than on very polluting (and invisibly polluting and destructing) industries thousands miles from me. In a way, and counter-intuitively, BS would make us closer to nature and ecosystems...

Tadpoles will try to escape from us, to avoid being harm, whereas bacteria won’t.
As tadpoles are multicellular organisms you will be aware if one of them die, whereas with bacteria you don’t really care if bacteria die or not, whether they are going to survive or not with the antibiotic inserted. I think with tadpoles I would care much more.

Visualiser, ça veut dire que ça existe vraiment, sauf si tu travailles avec des gènes fluorescents, tu ne vois souvent rien avec une bactérie, les résultats tu les sors de machines, c'est assez triste, alors que le têtard, quand tu mets ta tête derrière le microscope avec la lampe fluo et que tu vois un têtard vert, à l'endroit que tu voulais par exemple, et bien tu es content, il bouge, c'est vivant (la bactérie elle bouge trop doucement...) c'est mieux que de voir le résultat sur un écran je trouve, l'excitation est plus forte, c'est un peu une rencontre sportive quand il y a un but. vraiment, beaucoup beaucoup d'entraînement et de travail pour un résultat. Tu ne ressens pas ça avec la bactérie ou alors beaucoup moins.

La bactérie est invisible à l’œil nu. On peut voir les colonies mais leur développement est lent et immobile. Avec les têtards, on va les voir grandir, de l’œuf à l’embryon. On va devoir s’en occuper tous les jours et surveiller leur bon développement. On est vraiment sur un autre type d’expérience, beaucoup plus dynamique qu’avec des bactéries à mon avis.

I don’t see ethics differences, even between experimenting bacteria and experimenting monkeys. Aside from this, I see more interest to experiment on a tadpole than a bacterium because it is more complex, and I am complex too so I feel it closer to me and closer to the real existence complexity.

Tadpoles are animals-to-be, unlike bacteria. I don’t have this twinge of regrets by working with bacteria and also there are no ethic rules about bacteria which makes it easier with bacteria than tadpoles.

It is a lot more complicated, tricky, with difficult techniques. Bacteria is a routine for me. Tadpole is a new challenge.

The one said below; an embryo tadpole can become an animal and when it is an animal, it can feel and think, and when it does, it is as if we controlled the life of an animal a bit for “fun” or knowledge.

I don’t like working on bacteria, maybe because I’m not very talented in microbiology. I hope I’ll “be better” in tadpoles. On the other hand I think my brain was washed a little bit at university, because I worked on animals before (chickens and bees).

When you are working with bacteria, although you know the bacteria are alive, it is not important if you throw them away or waste them or anything like that. If my experiment messes up and I kill billions of bacteria for nothing, I feel bad for the materials/time/money I wasted doing the experiment, not for the bacteria. I don’t think it will be the same for tadpoles.

The tadpole is a multicellular organism allowing to work on the tissues communication. That’s not possible with bacteria.

C'est à peu près la même chose pour moi (bon je n'ai encore jamais expérimenté sur des têtards), leur niveau de réaction étant à peu près équivalent, seul la complexité de l'organisme change.

The difference is kind of obvious since by upgrading biosensor systems to tadpoles which are multicellular organisms which share numerous number of biological functions as man ,can give us a great deal of data about the effect on man.

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