Wednesday, September 18, 2002

If "very little [primate research] is done in the chimp," why are more than 1300 still imprisoned in biomedical research labs?

MACAQUE VIVISECTORS PROTEST CHIMPANZEES' HIGHER GENOMIC PRIORITY

Macaque advocates seek higher status
NIH genome priorities misplaced, say miffed monkey researchers. By Tabitha M Powledge

Stung by a second-place finish last May in the race to be officially declared a high-priority genome project, partisans of the rhesus macaque plan to try again....

Rhesus monkey researchers have complained long and loud about finishing behind the chimpanzee in the first high-priority group selected. Funding was, after all, coming from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and one of NHGRI's main criteria for genome selection was supposed to be medical relevance, they argued.

"I would like to hold NIH's feet to the fire," said Roger Bumgarner, of the Washington Regional Primate Research Center in Seattle, a participant in the monkey genome project. "Nearly all primate research in the US is done in the macaque; very little is done in the chimp for a variety of reasons" he noted....