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Episode Info: Lab Rat Chat - Episode 10 with Dr. Tara Martin, Director of the Refinement and Enrichment Laboratory at the University of Michigan  Follow us on Twitter! Facebook! Instagram! In this episode of Lab Rat Chat, Dr. Tara Martin from the Refinement and Enrichment Laboratory at the University of Michigan joins us to chat about the use of enrichment to stimulate and improve the lives of laboratory animals.  Dr. Martin and her team go to incredible lengths to ensure the enrichment they provide to every single animal are both safe and effective.Topics discussed in this episode:Dr. Martin’s extensive background and experiences throughout her education and career.The mission and vision of the Refinement and Enrichment Laboratory at the University of Michigan.What enrichment is and why it must (almost) always be used for laboratory animals.The process of testing and approving new enrichment items for use with the various animal species.Specific types of enrichment that may be used for animals based upon the type of study they’re involved in, such as studying cancer or cardiovascular diseases versus depression or anxiety.Notable quotes:“The reason we research enrichment is because there are a lot of toys and items available that seem like they would be really fun to us as humans, and then you give them to an animal and the animal is like ‘I have no interest in this item’, or they may even be afraid of the item.”“We filmed pigs with a bunch of different mats and then a bunch of different toys, and they ignored most of the items we put in, such as Kongs or balls, but the mats they would sleep on and then they would spend a lot of time pushing them around the cage, probably because pigs just love to root items on the ground and that’s just such a normal behavior for them.”Resources & Links:Refinement & Enrichment Advancements Laboratory ( Lab Animal Enrichment Database ( for Medical Progress ( PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (  Animal Welfare Act ( All Lab Rat Chat episodes are edited by Audionauts:  ...
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