Two or three times a day I went into the room where the rats were housed and inspected each animal for incipient signs of an effect of the EMF. They were females of the Sprague-Dawley strain, 10 weeks of age at the beginning of the experiment — identical, or so I had thought. After three weeks of almost daily inspection visits I came to learn they had different personalities and behaved in different ways. Rat no. 1 in the exposed group chewed each food pellet until it was about half gone and then buried it in a corner of its cage and began eating another pellet. The other rats usually consumed one food pellet entirely before starting on another. Rat no. 4 whipped its tail up and down as it walked in its cage, like a little whale swimming in a shoebox full of water. The other rats simply dragged their tails when they moved. No. 12 would run to the front of the cage and press its nose against the wall when I approached, which I took to be a friendly gesture; the other rats usually moved to the back of the cage, arched their backs, and glared at me. Two animals in the control group, nos. 5 and 15, were particularly aggressive, usually no. 15 more so. I inspected a rat by picking it up by its tail and pulling the tail slightly as the rat stood on my arm. Normally the rat would remain tense and motionless as its claws made their purchase on the sleeve of my lab coat. But no. 5 and no. 15 would turn their head to the back and attempt to bite my hand. At the beginning of the experiment the body weight of rat no. 17 was exactly equal to the averages of the control and experimental groups, which I had adjusted to be identical; no. 17 eventually became heavier than any other rat in either group. As the study progressed I learned to identify each animal’s number based simply on how it behaved. By the end of the study I could identify them based solely on their appearance — they actually looked different.
Rats are individuals. Like people. When we design experiments based on a plan to average the results we blind ourselves to the subject’s individuality. We put ourselves in a position to see only machine-like behavior common to all, like the effect of gravity. The EMF Funding Rule requires all studies to be of this type. I stopped following the Rule after I matured as a scientist. Stopping didn’t help make me popular but I learned a lot.