Monday, October 21, 2002

Notice the glaring illogic in the researcher's attempt to justify his continued federal grant$.


Searching for Answers
It may play a role in curing human illnesses, but some say animal testing is unneccessary
By Stephanie Weintraub (Daily Texan Staff) October 21, 2002

[Photo] A chimpanzee plays in its [sic] enclosure at the Department of Veterinary Sciences park in Bastrop on Friday. The park is home to chimpanzees, rhesus monkeys and other animals that are part of research projects. Although the other animals are used in tests about cancers and efforts at creating an AIDS vaccine, the chimpanzees are there to provide a population of healthy, normal specimens in case an emergency need arose for them.

On the outskirts of Austin lies a 395-acre animal research facility, which aims to battle deadly human disease....

The Bastrop-area science park, called the Department of Veterinary Sciences, is a satellite of the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, which is recognized by U.S. News and World Report as the top facility of its kind in the country....

The facility houses some 700 Indian rhesus monkeys, which are part of a breeding program and are used for AIDS research. In addition to the monkeys, about 160 African chimpanzees and 30 to 40 sheep, mice and rabbits live at the facility.

"A lot of people say, how can we use an animal because it's not a human," Satterfield said. "Actually, most of what happens in a mouse is the very same thing that happens in us. There are obviously some differences, but the types of research that's conducted at Anderson are looking at the very things that are identical, not the things that are different."

A mouse, he said, shares 75 percent of its DNA with humans, and chimpanzees share 95 percent. Rodents comprise 90 percent of animals used in biomedical research, he added.

The center is attempting to track a vaccine for AIDS, and about 20 of the center's rhesus monkeys are used in ongoing AIDS research. Science has found that chimpanzees are capable of sustaining the AIDS virus but don't get sick....

The chimpanzees and monkeys at the center are housed in outside corrals and cages that are meant to mirror a natural environment....