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Pacific University Professor To Sell 'Infamous' Shrimp Treadmill For $1 Million

Marine biologist and Pacific University professor David Scholnick wants to set the record straight about the miniature treadmill he built for shrimp. It set off a storm of criticism from Republican politicians.

Presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee, for example, linked the funding for the tiny treadmill to limits on military spending.

In an opinion piece, published on the Chronicle for Higher Education's website, Scholnick criticizes Republican politicians for honing in on a small part of a larger study aimed at increasing food safety and benefiting commercial shrimp health at fisheries.

The shrimp-size treadmill was used to simulate how wild shrimp move -- swimming around for food and avoiding predators. It was surprisingly successful.

Though Forbes reported the the study cost taxpayers $3 million, Scholinick said it was only $426,000, and was funded by the National Science Foundation.

Scholnick wrote that Republicans who accuse scientists of wasting money are diminishing scientific advances, and he's tired of being criticized by people who are ill-informed.

"It is disingenuous for the Republican-controlled House Committee on Science, Space and Technology to promote the idea that scientists are wasting millions of taxpayer dollars to run shrimp on treadmills based on a 30-second video clip," wrote Scholnik for the Chronicle of Higher Education. "Given that every teaspoon of seawater can contain millions of bacteria, it does not take a mental giant to understand that the health of marine organisms and the safety of the seafood we eat are closely related."

Scholnick also noted that the treadmill cost $50, which he had paid for out of his own pocket.

To end reports of wasted money, he's selling the "infamous treadmill," with all profits going to marine-biology research, "so that grandmothers across the country will no longer be denied medication, our heroic soldiers fighting abroad might be able to get the military equipment they need, and the House science committee can rest easy knowing that they can once again eat fat, juicy shrimp — free of bacteria — without using up government funds."

( h/t The Oregonian)

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