posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 03:47 PM
reply to post by alyoshablue
While it makes for a good talking point for the uninformed, the 'shrimp on a treadmill' study was to look at small marine animals, such as a shrimp,
react to infections in their native environment. Now, because traipsing about on the ocean floor for months on end with multi-million dollar
submarines isn't the most cost effective way to study this, the researchers devised a way to simulate physical activity in said native environment,
and this included building a small treadmill inside of a small tank in a laboratory that would then replicate the amount of movement a shrimp may see
in a typical day. While there is much known on marine life, there's a lot that isn't known, including how internal stresses (disease, infections)
limit movement. If movement and activity levels are limited, it follows that food procurement and avoidance of predatory organisms are likewise
inhibited. While this may seem like a 'common sense' thing, precisely how and how much this movement and activity is limited isn't really known,
which was the purpose of this study. This is important because, as we all know, ocean water contains an increasing number of toxins that affect
marine life. If marine life is affected not only is the ecosystem potentially disrupted in various ways, people's livelihoods can also be affected
(shrimp fishermen and associated industries).
Very few people outside of academia have ever went through the NSF grant process, so your ignorance on this is somewhat excusable. It should be said,
however, that there is very, very, very little given money that isn't seen as important. I've never personally witnessed a 'useless' project get
approved. There are a multitude of steps required to get NSF money, including very rigorous peer review processes. The projects that get targeted as
'useless' are because people can't be arsed to find out what's really going on and, in typical American anti-intellectual style, start hammering on
scientific research. The lightbulb wasn't invented in one try, and very little else in the way of scientific advancement will be invented or
discovered, either. These 'useless' studies are the building blocks upon which the 'big' discoveries get made.
This is a big pet issue of Dr. Coburn. I know Tom personally and have for sometime from my years living and working in eastern OK. I like Tom on a
personal level, but he is often a disgrace to the 'science' part of his profession. He's a good example of a politician that needs to run his mouth
less and his brain more.
edit on 13-6-2011 by samcrow because: (no reason given)