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Institute of Medicine (US) and National Research Council (US) Committee on the Use of Chimpanzees in Biomedical and Behavioral Research; Altevogt BM, Pankevich DE, Shelton-Davenport MK, et al., editors. Chimpanzees in Biomedical and Behavioral Research: Assessing the Necessity. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2011.

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Chimpanzees in Biomedical and Behavioral Research: Assessing the Necessity.

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To conduct this expert assessment and evaluate the need for chimpanzees in research to advance the public’s health, the committee deliberated from May through November 2011. During this time, the committee held three 2-day meetings and several conference calls, including two public information-gathering sessions on May 26, 2011, and August 11–12, 2011 (see Appendix C for meeting agendas). Each information-gathering session included testimony from individuals and organizations that both supported and opposed the continued use of chimpanzees. The objectives of the information-gathering sessions were to:

  • Obtain background data on the current use of chimpanzees in biomedical and behavioral research;
  • Explore potential alternative models to chimpanzees; and
  • Seek public comment about the scientific need for chimpanzees in biomedical and behavioral research.

In addition, during the course of the study the committee solicited and received over 5,700 comments via the Internet.

The committee examined the current availability of chimpanzees and use of the chimpanzee as an animal model. The committee also reviewed the use of chimpanzees in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, as described later in the section titled “Summary of Chimpanzee Research.” In addition, it reviewed NIH projects that supported chimpanzee research from 2001 to 2010. The committee reviewed a number of background documents provided by stakeholder organizations. The committee also commissioned a paper titled “Comparison of Immunity to Pathogens in Humans, Chimpanzees, and Macaques” (see Appendix B).

The committee completed its task by identifying a set of core principles to guide current and future use of the chimpanzee, and based on these principles derived a set of criteria used to assess whether chimpanzees are necessary for research now or in the future.

Copyright © 2011, National Academy of Sciences.
Bookshelf ID: NBK91449


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