Guinea Pig Zero examines the medical human research industry from the point of view of the researched. Written by human test research subjects (also known as "guinea pigs"), the book includes stories about flipping out on Prozac, sleep deprivation and gene therapy. Besides rating test clinics and providing practical advice to fellow human guinea pigs, Helms investigates the history of human test research and provides some illuminating commentary on the goals and motives behind the biomedical enterprise.
"Spirited writing and quite interesting subject matter distinguish this book that can't help but broaden the scope of just about any collection."
"...a cross between Emma Goldman and Robert Crumb."
--Carl Elliot, Tin House
"I guess it should come as no surprise that the job market in present day America has devolved to the point where people sell their bodies to science for a living."
--Jeff Kelly, Creator of Temp Slave
"...Helms is generally so appealing in his ability to find the history between the lines, to represent the subjects of experiments as protagonists of their own stories."
--Melissa Klein, MAXIMUMROCKNROLL
"GPZ is not only a self-help guide for people considering work as a volunteer subjects in medical research, but also a serious history of medical testing with sobering case studies."
--Chris Dodge, Utne
"... [GPZ] clearly merits careful scrutiny by scientists and
policy-makers, so-called bio-ethicists and politicians, as well as by
practicing physicians and any person contemplating becoming a 'research
--Dr. Richard M. Zaner, Ann Geddes Stahlman Professor of Medical Ethics
and Philosophy of Medicine
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
"Like a lot of people who toil on the margins, Helms felt he needed a forum to address his grievances. Drawing inspiration from pioneering job-magazines such as Temp Slave! and Dishwasher, he launched Guinea Pig Zero as an antidote to fat-cat drug companies and acronym-infested Washington, D.C., a place where oversight groups coagulate into a mass that seems large in size but small in effectiveness."
--Mark Scheffler, Chicago Tribune
"Guinea Pig Zero does go a long way to dispel the stereotypes about human research subjects. It gives insight into a world that I otherwise would know little about. And, though the various essays in the this book tackle some pretty heavy subjects, the writers maintain a down-to-earth tone...I really recommend this book."
--Sean Carswell, Razorcake Magazine
"Guinea Pig Zero covers every aspect of medical testing, including the needless deaths that sometimes occur."
"...And then you read something like Guinea Pig Zero and you couldn't be prouder of this massive, shocking honesty that is underground publishing: the weirdness and the grossness and the marvelous craft of it."
"Ironically, at a time in which labor unions seem about as relevant to our future as the 8-track tape, it may be that the jobs that are barely jobs at all are the ones that will inspire the most fervent activism -- even if, so far, the most that temp slaves and dishwashers and guinea pigs have brought us is a bit of on-the-job sabotage and a few lively zines. Still, as GPZ makes clear, a good zine can get you heard. And in an age of spin, that counts for an awful lot."
--David Futrelle, Salon
"The perfect gift for the friend who moonlights [as a Guinea Pig].... This book gives insight into the little known world and occupational hazards of human test subjects."
--Tenaya Darlington, "Offbeat gift guide," Isthmus Weekly