UNC researchers and administrators met with neighbors of the university's Research Resources Facility, commonly called "The Farm," in Bingham Township Monday night at the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center.
Residents have been asking for information about the expansion of the animal holding facility. They say unlike with the planning of Carolina North and even the redevelopment of the University Square shopping center, the university has not provided information on what they are doing.
Last night's meeting tried to change that. Speakers started with an overview of UNC's research on heart disease, hemophilia and muscular dystrophy. Specially bred pigs, whose hearts are nearly identical to humans, and dogs are used to study coronary atherosclerosis (a narrowing of blood vessels and a major cause of death and disability) and blood clotting. Specially bed dogs are used to study Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a disorder that affects one in 5,000 live male births, with most dying in their 20s.
"This is wonderful information," resident Tom Schopler interjected, "but not really germane. The issue is not whether research is necessary. The issue is how is the facility going to be operated, how are animals going to be moved back and forth (between the Farm, and the School of Medicine), how is the wastewater going to be handled."
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