Scientists make themselves allergic to the things they study, but don't stop experimenting

August 2, 2013 1:58 PM

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Scientists make themselves allergic to the things they study, but don't stop experimenting

Allergies are acquired when our immune systems become too sensitive to certain things over time. When a scientist might study the same animal or plant or parcel of land from grad school through retirement—coming into contact with it every day for decades—it's no surprise that the object they devote themselves to might also cause them some irritation.

An estimated 15 to 20 percent of researchers who work with mice and rats, for instance, may eventually become allergic to the animals, said Dr. Karin A. Pacheco, an assistant professor of environmental and occupational health sciences at National Jewish Health in Denver. The real number could be eve...

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