Expanding protections for chimpanzees

If a new proposal from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service goes through, chimpanzees could be reclassified as endangered, enhancing legal protections against their use for medical research.

Studies have found the chimpanzees used for medical research often leave with symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress disorder, and there’s a whole host of ethical concerns given their genetic proximity to humans.

But it’s that same proximity that has until recently made them crucial to researchers.

Although there are still a few areas of biomedical research for which chimps remain essential, experiments involving them have fallen out of favor as scientists switched to using mice, rats and other animals that have been genetically altered so that their immune systems mimic those of humans.

Read more over at Science Now.

Photos: Gerald Herbert, Ted S. Warren / Associated Press, Outhendrik Schmidt / AFP/Getty Images

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  22. thecoreofthewatermelon said: Please leave these guys alone. Testing on them is wrong.
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