Wednesday Waste: Research Edition

Wednesday Waste | April 25, 2012

In a recent study conducted by Emory University, the college found that “single mother” prairie voles raised less loving children than those with fathers in the vole family. The study was designed to define the long-term behavior differences in families with only one parent versus two. It was funded by four separate National Institute of Health grants, a T32 institutional training grant from the National Institute of Mental Health and two other NIMH grants.

The above study is one of many in a recently compiled list of research funded by taxpayers. Though a few of the studies on the list were pieces of an ongoing research program, most were not. There was another piece of interesting research, conducted by Yerkes National Primate Research Center at the same university as above, which tested if Chimpanzees’ yawning was based upon empathetic behavior.

Though the study found that, yes the excessive yawning is empathetic, it was paid for by a K12 Career Development grant from the National Institute of Health. The list was compiled by the In Defense of Animals foundation, and it features 10 different examples of wasted taxpayer funded research on animals during 2011. Many of the examples border on the ridiculous and force us to wonder – how were they funded in the first place?

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