The National Institutes of Health (NIH) requested that the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine (NAS/IOM) conduct a study on the use and necessity of chimpanzees in research for the advancement of public health. Convened April 5th, the committee will issue its report in nine months. The findings will impact the fate of all chimpanzees in U.S. research and testing.
According to the IOM website, the study will “explore contemporary and anticipated biomedical research questions to determine if chimpanzees are or will be necessary for research discoveries.” Should the committee identify biomedical questions, they will proceed “to describe the unique biological/immunological characteristics of the chimpanzee that make it the necessary animal model for use in the types of research, and provide recommendations for any new or revised scientific parameters to guide how and when to use these animals for research.”
Their next task is to “explore contemporary and anticipated behavioral research questions to determine if chimpanzees are necessary for progress in understanding social, neurological and behavioral factors…”