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Clinical/Medical Lab Tech - (Sep/21/2012 )

Hi. I've previously worked in a biomedical research lab and realized that it is not for me. I do not feel comfortable using the animal models or even the animal related/derived products. I do not think I will be able to avoid using such things in a biomedical research lab because even if the lab does not experiment with animals, they will most likely still use the animal related/derived products in their in vitro experiments (i.e. serum, antibodies that have been raised in mice/goats/rabbits, etc.). I enjoy working in a lab and so I'm wondering whether clinical or medical laboratory technologists use such products? If not, I think it might be a good area to pursue since I would still be able to pursue my love for science but not have to feel uncomfortable using the animal products or models. Thanks for any input.


Clinical labs certainly use antibodies a whole heap, as well as human tissue.


Clinical laboratires use everything same as any other molecular biology lab. Antibodies, growth media, chemical substances of animal origin.
Only way to avoid it is to choose a narrow field within biomedical laboratory, that doesn't use any of this. Tissue cultures will always use serum and other things, proteomics will need antibodies. If you will work in routine lab, they maybe all you do will be isolating DNA/RNA and running tests on in, but that is far from science.
Molecular genetics is pretty animal-free, until you get too "basic science" to animal models. Also avoid pharmacology, since that is mostly animals.

However I think it's too difficult to avoid using nothing animal-derived in life not only in lab. I personaly avoid directly working with laboratory animals, but my boundary is animal as whole. I can work with tissues and other material, as long I don't need to disect it. Because if you don't set a boundary where would you stop? Would you go into science project that involves animals even if you are not working with them? Would you participarte on a paper with people working with animals? Will you ever use anything that was created or invented with exploiting animals? Well the answer for the last is of course you will, beause everyone is. You can't just pretend the thousands of years that went on with exploiting animals, we can just try to make their "sacrifice" for us worth it. But I understand you feel uncomfortable about it, I do too seeing a lab mouse. But having a vial of antibody in your hand, do you really need to think on the fact some rabbits produce it? It surely doesn't look much like a rabbit. So at this point it's more about the state of mind than something inevitably hacking into your head as a look at the animal itself, I would say.


Have you thought about plant based research?


Even in plant-based research you need antibodies for WB.


Trof on Sun Sep 23 19:41:34 2012 said:

Even in plant-based research you need antibodies for WB.

True. Didn't think of that.

But not all labs do WB, so southtowns18 could look for labs that only use reagents and techniques he/she was happy with.

And, southtowns18, I don't know how you would feel about working in a lab that DOES use things you aren't comfortable with but not using them yourself?
Because I know when I was doing the animal handling course required for my degree years ago- I was informed that I could opt to refuse to perform any technique I wasn't comfortable with, with no detriment to my degree (and someone would do that part for me).

(though admittedly, I don't know how an employer would be about that, and I'm sure this would vary between countries)