Recently, I have been receiving a number of questions from friends and strangers alike concerning the reasons for my departure from Santa Rosa. As I don't have time to answer every query personally, here are some of the more common questions I'm asked, along with brief responses.
Why did you resign from the Institute? Why not stay and keep your eyes on things?
I felt that my resignation would bring more attention to this issue. I also could not, in good conscience, continue to draw paychecks from a place whose mission has strayed so far from my own.
What is Genuflex?
Genuflex is the brand name for the showcase drug currently being tested at the Santa Rosa Institute (SRI). You may see it described in official publications as TSF (Telomer Shield Factor). No matter what scientific euphemism SRI might use, Genuflex is really nothing more than manipulated vampire DNA.
What is this new phase of research and why is it so dangerous?
The new phase of Genuflex research involves injecting non-primate mammals (mice, rats, rabbits) with manipulated vampire DNA. Putting altered DNA into animals runs the risk of creating a new strain of vampirism immune to the existing vaccine. If one of these infected animals were to bite its handler, and that handler turned, we could have a new outbreak on our hands. If this scenario seems far-fetched, consider what happened in the Soviet Union almost 35 years ago.
Doesn't the Institute have safeguards in place to insure that this doesn't happen?
The testing phase going on right now involves much physical handling of the animals. Typically, a technician will remove the animal from its cage, inject it with modified DNA or draw blood for analysis, then return the animal to its cage. Besides being cruel to the animal, this process is extremely dangerous for the technician. A vampiric animal is more aggressive and unpredictable, and poses a much greater threat to anyone it comes into contact with.
If the Institute doesn't do this research, then someone else will, with perhaps less oversight. If this research has to be done, isn't it better that it be done in a well-monitored, professional environment?
Just because some back-alley quack might try this irresponsible research doesn't mean that the leading vampire and zombie research center in the world has to dive headlong into it. We should not be part of a frenzied race to the bottom. The United States should honor the UN ban on animal testing and police other countries to make sure they are abiding by it.
If the aim of this research is immortality for all, then aren't the risks worth it?
The Institute has gone down this road without any consideration of the potential costs. Not just the costs to society, such as overpopulation, but the potential effects on the individual receiving this treatment. What long-term effects will Genuflex have? Will it alter the individual's brain chemistry, make people more violent or aggressive? A moratorium on animal testing should be in place until the leaders in the scientific community can at least discuss these ramifications.
I am not suggesting we close the door on this research. All I am asking is that we follow a more prudent course. Let's understand all the costs and liabilities before we embark on this journey. Since the beginning of time, human beings have lived their lives, then stepped aside for the next generation. Now we are tampering with that essential formula, and we haven't even stopped to consider the dangers.
Why did the Santa Rosa Institute change its name from "Institute for Vampire and Zombie Studies" to "Institute for Advanced Genetic Research?"
Public relations. Institute PR flacks discovered that the words "zombie" and "vampire" have negative connotations for the public. In a press release, the Institute claimed the name change was made necessary by its "broadening base of research." No matter what it's called, the Institute does one thing and one thing only: it studies vampire and zombie DNA.
All right, you convinced me this research is dangerous! What can I do to help?
Recently, I founded the organization Stop Santa Rosa! with a couple of scientists and environmental activists. Our aim is to put together fundraising drives, protests and letter-writing/e-mail campaigns against SRI's research. While I do not advocate the violent attacks that some groups have recently employed against SRI, I do not believe we can stand idle. Once we are up and running, I will have information about how you can help. Keep watching this site for more news.