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Episode Notes for
Monsters from the Lab

In this week’s episode, MonsterTalk looks once again at genetics and creatures created in the laboratory. Dr. Marcus C. Davis joins the hosts to discuss what constitutes a “monster.” In his work, Davis deals with paleontology, as well as embryological manipulation — which, by some definitions, means he literally creates monsters.

What kinds of creatures are scientists making in labs today? What is the scope of their power? What guides their ethics? Learn more this week on MonsterTalk!

In this episode

Some questions we address with Dr. Marcus:

  • What defines a monster — and what is the history
    of the word in a scientific context?
  • What does it mean to create a monster in the lab?
  • What are the ethical bodies that govern embryological and genetic experiments?
  • How do scientists feel about being subject to those levels of oversight?
  • What is up with that photo of a mouse with an ear on its back?

Links for more information on topics in the show

The mouse with an ear on its back.

The governing bodies that guide embryology/development experiments:
National Institute of Health has animal health governing body called OLAW:
Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC):


Episode Transcript

Read a complete transcript of this episode.

The views expressed on this program are not necessarily the views of the Skeptics Society or Skeptic magazine.

For those seeking a sound scientific viewpoint


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