ATLANTA—Expressing his deep regret for the effects of his past actions, scientist Gabriel Foster admitted to reporters Thursday that he can’t forgive himself for pressuring a young lab mouse to try drugs for the first time.
“That mouse had its whole life ahead of it, and what did I do? I got it hooked on ketamine,” said the Georgia Tech researcher, adding that he felt responsible after seeing the mouse reduced to a junkie living in a filthy cage and spending all of its time awaiting its next fix. “It’s been an addict for over half its lifetime and it’s all my fault. If I could go back in time and stop myself from offering it ketamine, I would. We were just doing a clinical trial, and I didn’t think it would hurt anyone, but I didn’t stop to ask myself whether slipping drugs to a young, impressionable mouse would have consequences.”
“I mean, this is a mouse that used to be able to easily race through a maze, a mouse that fathered children, and now it won’t do anything unless it involves scoring drugs.” added Foster, lamenting that he had ruined a bright future in neurological testing for the small rodent. “This was the smartest mouse I knew. Now he just keeps pushing that button for more drugs. He’s starving himself to death. He had everything going for him. What have I done?”
The researcher, who admitted that he was struggling to sleep at night because he had “blood on his hands,” expressed remorse that his conduct had helped to tear apart the once-vibrant mouse community.
Foster added that he also couldn’t forgive himself for keeping quiet while the government continued to funnel drugs to his research facility despite their devastating effect on generations of lab mice populations.