Friday, August 15, 2003

I wonder whether anybody has bothered to ask the monkeys how they feel about this FAIR AND BALANCED story:
BOSTON, Massachusetts (AP) -- A nationwide shortage of rhesus macaque monkeys is hampering efforts to create cures from new information such as the human genome sequence, organ transplant techniques, and the use of stem cells to replace diseased of damaged tissue, scientists say.

The 15-pound monkeys have long been laboratory favorites because of their physiological similarity to humans. But increased demand caused by public health crises from AIDS to the threat of bioterrorism have led to shortage that's slowed research and has scientists paying up to $10,000 per animal.

"The promise for improving health and quality of life in people is tremendous with this new information, but it all needs to be evaluated in animals before we start doing it in people," Dr. Joseph Kemnitz, director of the National Primate Research Center at the University of Wisconsin, told The Boston Globe. "People are just unable to perform the research that they intended to do."