Thursday, May 10, 2007

Nice work?

Some people make a lot of money signing up to be guinea pigs for science. Some of them get a really good clinical trial, like the author of an article for Wired magazine who went on the Paleolithic diet for a study. For three weeks, he got free food (mostly pork and pineapple), he was paid $200, he lost 16 pounds and his cholesterol went down 70 points.

Then there were guinea pigs like these:
In March 2006, eight male volunteers checked into London's Northwick Park Hospital for a weeklong study of TGN1412, an experimental treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and leukemia to be manufactured by Boehringer-Ingelheim. Within minutes of receiving the first dose, six of them began to writhe in pain, vomit, and lose consciousness, according to news reports. Nurses rushed them to the hospital's trauma unit, where doctors treated them for multiple organ failure. The test subjects lived, but all suffered permanent damage to their immune systems and internal organs. One lost fingers and toes. Another developed signs of cancer possibly triggered by the drug.
Read the fascinating article here.

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