Chimpanzees and Orangutans are Help Researchers

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Primates are able to help scientist put two and two together to be able to fully understand how the human body and mind work. In the same article by UC Davis, it also proclaims that “95 percent of the lab animals in scientific and medical research are rats and mice [and that] just half of 1 percent of research is conducted with nonhuman primates…but their impact on our health is enormous,” said FBR president Frankie Trull in paragraph 3 of the article. President Trull continues to add that “NHPs, mostly monkeys, are the link between smaller animals and people.” Trull later on goes on to say that, “Once a disease or drug is understood in smaller species – like rats, mice, birds, zebrafish and worms – it is often then studied in monkeys” (Trull, para 3).

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Because of the similarity between humans and these primates, scientist are able to test things that wouldn’t really be able to be studied with animals like rats for example. The DNA is what causes these primates and humans to be similar. According to the article on AMNH, “Human and chimp DNA is nearly identical when you compare the bands on chromosomes, the bundles of DNA inside nearly every cell” (para 3). Later on the article explains that, “Human and chimp X chromosomes both contain about 1,100 different genes, or sets of instructions. Each gene affects a particular trait in the body” (AMNH, para 3).

With humans and the primates being so 98.8 percent similar, these instructions are relatively the same. The only difference between the DNA of that of a chimp and that of a human is the size of the strands in the chromosome of the two. That size of the chromosome strand means the difference between being human and an ape. When it comes to studying the brain, primates are the best option. According to an article on greenfacts.org, “ non-human primates (NHPs) and humans have very similar brains, experiments on primates remain crucial. At present, primates are the only animals available to study how the activity of a single nerve cell is related to more complicated brain functions” (para 20).

Chimpanzees and orangutans are help researchers with studies of how the body and mind work because of the immense similarities between them. In an article by ncbi.org, there is a quotes that is very important regarding the brain. The article by ncbi states that, “while rodents are used extensively and are extremely helpful in answering many basic research questions, their usefulness is limited by differences from primates in their lack of sophisticated brain structures, less developed immune systems and motor skills, and differences in how their metabolism functions, among other traits” (ncbi.org, para 8).

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