In this week's Dear Science, Dr. Golob clears up the cloud of ignorance surrounding the matter of animal testing:

Performing an experiment in an American research lab—particularly in an academic, government-funded research lab—is an astoundingly onerous task. A packet of paperwork on the scale of a moderately sized town's phonebook must be completed and renewed annually. Regulations are scrupulously adhered to—under threat of an individual lab or entire university losing funding. Every one of these packets must have a justification for the experiment, an accounting of the number of animals you must use (with documentation that you cannot accomplish the task with fewer), and, finally, a section indicating you've exhausted the alternative, non-animal-using approaches. Even in the interval decade that your correspondent has been working in labs, there has been a noticeable tightening of the rules and oversight of animal-based experiments. Thanks to these regulations (hard fought for by animal-rights activists), no scientists in their right minds do an experiment involving animals that can be done some other way.
There you have it. Now let's move on to the next big issue in science, which concerns Bruce Springsteen. He claims: "You can't start a fire without a spark." Is this theory scientific? Has it been tested? Can you start a fire without a spark? We shall investigate.