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Medicine Science

Harvard To Close New England Primate Research Center 100

sciencehabit writes "Citing an increasingly bleak outlook for federal research funding, Harvard Medical School is shutting down its major primate center, which has recently experienced the departure of several key scientists and an investigation into its handling of animals. In the announcement, which surprised many primate researchers, the school said it will not seek to renew the New England Primate Research Center's (NEPRC's) 5-year grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and will 'wind down operations' at the center in Southborough, Massachusetts, over the next 2 years. The center, which has a nearly 50-year history, had done groundbreaking work on an AIDS vaccine and developed animal models for diseases such as Parkinson's, among other accomplishments."
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Harvard To Close New England Primate Research Center

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  • by kimvette ( 919543 ) on Thursday April 25, 2013 @11:32AM (#43546547) Homepage Journal

    This comment has not been tested on animals. However, we cannot guarantee that it is not cruelty-free.

  • they just got fired, who is going to feed and care for them now?

  • Federal funding has all but dried up for Primate research. Researchers have found that Chimps are indeed very similar to humans, and testing on them is inhumane. Animal/primates rights activists have won, and the few chimps in federal care are the only ones left, they won't be replaced. There's quite a backstory here that isn't being told.
    As great of research Harvard provided, they had effectively built a Guantanamo for apes.

    • When they tried to shut one plant down the apes took over SanFrancisco.
    • by alen ( 225700 )

      from what i hear, the monkeys were treated better than at gitmo

    • by guruevi ( 827432 )

      Really? Where do you source your information you right-wing hippie? The primates are and some have already been shipped to other primate labs. Acquiring and taking care of primates (or any animal) in a public institution is under a very strict oversight from several government agencies as well as institutional committee's. These animals have care and space very similar to a regular zoo. If any of the government agencies would have as strict oversight as these do, we wouldn't have disasters like the Keystone

  • .... this guy [worth1000.com] is going to have to find work in the private sector. Looks like management material to me.

  • And volunteer to be tested on instead of animals. Someone has to cure AIDS and Cancer and its not going to happen through computer simulations and best wishes.

  • This isn't spraying some perfume into rabbits eyes to make sure it doesn't give people a rash, this is doing research to treat and prevent diseases that are killing and disabling an astounding number of people.

    I think most people that have come to the ethical conclusion that the thousands of animals that they tested HIV and AIDS treatments on at this facility, are more important than the tens or hundreds of thousands of people that are not dead, and living their lives relatively normally because of that res

    • It should probably also be stressed at some point that anything that can be tested on a less sentient animal (generally rats and mice) is tested there extensively first. Primate testing is extremely expensive and the ethics guidelines are generally taken very seriously.
  • So a couple businesses went out of business in the area and long story short, I have some really nice tablets and chairs and computer monitors now. So the question is, are they going to auction off all the monkeys? Because that would be freakin awesome!
    • So the question is, are they going to auction off all the monkeys?

      That is almost universally prohibited under NIH funding regulations.

      Because that would be freakin awesome!

      I'm not sure what would be awesome about owning a monkey with AIDS.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        Well that's a seriously offensive statement. Monkeys with aids are just as fun and amazing and intelligent as ones without AIDS. See you at the cross burning, Adolph.
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Thursday April 25, 2013 @12:41PM (#43547203) Journal
    Its students are cheating. Its professors are either too dumb to use the spreadsheet correctly or so corrupt they cook up data to be shills for austerity mongers. And they cut real research centers to save money. They buy real estate in around Boston from companies going bankrupt and take off the tax rolls of local municipalities (look up the Aresenal area). I think Harvard's mission has become growing the endowments as much as possible while coasting on the goodwill created by earlier decades of solid academic work.
    • I don't disagree with you (Harvard grad here), but a couple things I need to point out. First, as a professor, I can tell you that cheating happens everywhere. Second, I saw the spreadsheet thing on the Colbert Report, which is, of course, not a reliable news source. While it's certainly possible that there is an issue with corruption, Harvard is also composed of about a dozen different schools with totally different sources of funding, faculties, etc. One school having corrupt professors would not indicate

      • Sir,

        I am surprised you got the spreadsheet scandal via Colbert. It has been making news for quite some time. There was an NPR report, one BBC report etc. So please do not assume I am getting all my news from Colbert.

        Further, very surprisingly, Stewart and Colbert seem to care for accuracy, despite being a comedy show. Being comedians they are able to laugh off their mistakes on air and apologize by making fun of themselves. But still, they do that when they make a mistake. The one I remember recently i

  • My friends and I used to sit for hours and watch those flying monkeys on leashes go round and round.
  • I didn't know Bieber [www.cbc.ca] was a medical researcher?

"Yeah, but you're taking the universe out of context."