Monday, July 22, 2002

Bioqual researcher Joe Erwin is studying captive older chimpanzees as part of the Great Ape Aging Project, which states: "Information on the great apes is especially important with regard to understanding human aging, because apes resemble humans-- genetically, biologically, and psychologically more than any other kind of animal. Because apes are so much like humans, they suffer from many of the same age-related disorders as do humans." Apparently GAAP would disagree with the researcher's statement below that chimpanzees don't get Alzheimer’s disease. The mixed messages of these researchers are common. They say nonhumans are biologically like us, so our diseases can be studied in them - but won't admit that they don't get all of our diseases. They may acknowledge that nonhumans (especially chimpanzees) are like us psychologically - but proceed to disregard their interests, imprison them for life and subject them to useless experimentation. Aren't scientists supposed to be rational and logical?


Monday, July 22, 2002
Cell repository widens sample with primates

...For more than 40 years, the Coriell Institute for Medical Research has been collecting living human cells for use by researchers worldwide. Fifty-five large steel tanks kept at minus 316 degrees Fahrenheit today hold the cells of more than 50,000 people - the majority of them patients who had genetic disorders, from diabetes and cancer to rare illnesses like Lou Gehrig's disease.

Now, Coriell is applying its expertise in the growing, freezing and thawing of human cells to chimpanzees, gorillas, baboons and other nonhuman primates....

Primate cells and their genetic material are useful to researchers in a range of fields, from primate evolution to biomedical research.

The creation of the new cell collection reflects a growing scientific interest in the comparative genetic makeup of humans and apes - whose related genes are 95 percent to 98 percent similar.

Applying knowledge of primates to biomedical research, scientists hope to learn more about our genetic heritage and the causes of genetic disorders. They want to know why chimpanzees, for instance, do not appear to develop Alzheimer's disease, and why common cancers such as breast, lung and prostate cause so many deaths in humans but kill only a tiny percentage of nonhuman primates.

"We are very closely related to these individuals," said Jeanne C. Beck, deputy director of the Coriell Cell Repositories and a principal investigator in the primate project. "Clearly what makes us human, what differentiates us from the apes, to me that's a very interesting question."

Coriell and four other institutions, including the Zoological Society of San Diego and Princeton University, have received a five-year, $3.8 million grant from the National Science Foundation to establish the new repository. It is called the Integrated Primate Biomaterials and Information Resource....