The Nature News Blog has a bit on the recent meeting of the Committee on the Use of Chimpanzees in Biomedical and Behavioral Research. The NIH commissioned the Institute of Medicine to:

Explore contemporary and anticipated biomedical research questions to determine if chimpanzees are or will be necessary for research discoveries and to determine the safety and efficacy of new prevention or treatment strategies. If biomedical research questions are identified:

Describe the unique biological/immunological characteristics of the chimpanzee that make it the necessary animal model for use in the types of research.
Provide recommendations for any new or revised scientific parameters to guide how and when to use these animals for research.

Explore contemporary and anticipated behavioral research questions to determine if chimpanzees are necessary for progress in understanding social, neurological and behavioral factors that influence the development, prevention, or treatment of disease.

I was struck by a comment reported by the Nature News blog from a participant who objected to the scope of the study.

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