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Science Careers Blog

August 20, 2012

Monkey Business in the Lab?

Giving new meaning to the term "laboratory misconduct," a lab technician found "drunk and not fully clothed in the locker room for technicians of an animal research lab" at Georgia Health Sciences University in Augusta has been placed under arrest, reports Inside Higher Ed. In addition to the errant technician, two of the lab's monkeys were also found on the loose. "No animals were harmed during the incident," says a university statement, adding that "employees are expected to conduct themselves, at all times, with integrity and respect."

Most laboratory misconduct appears motivated by a desire to advance a scientific career, but a piece of research reported elsewhere in Inside Higher Ed suggests another possible motivation for this unusual behavior: Sociologist Carolyn Hsu of Colgate University and New York University law student Landon Reid reported at the American Sociological Association on a survey revealing that "students who engage in binge drinking were happier" than non-bingers, writes Inside Higher Ed. What's more, male fraternity members are "likelier than others to binge drink and to be happy about it" than others. Who knew?

But clearly, the 32-year-old technician, not being a frat boy, was mistaken if he expected drinking to increase his happiness. No information is available about the happiness of the monkeys.

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