Primates Helped Scientists

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With the understanding that chimpanzees and orangutans are very mentally and genetically similar to humans, scientists then were able to find the cures to the deadly diseases and viruses that affect the world. With the knowledge that these animals provide in terms that they are very similar with humans, they are able to provide humans with the ability to find cures for illnesses. Many deadly diseases that have existed for decades that could have been solved because of the use of chimps and orangutans in medical research. When malaria first came up in 1880, it was devastating. People didn’t know what was going on, let alone know the cure. The disease took the lives of millions of people through the course of a couple decades.

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However, during the late 20th century, scientists began to use NHPs in the search for the cure. “The owl monkey and the squirrel monkey are the only species (besides the chimpanzee) that are susceptible to the human malaria parasite” as stated by the article in With the use of these primates, scientists were able to pin point were the disease came from and how it was interacting with the body. Researchers were also able learn key information about the malaria disease. In the NCBI article, is is states that, “NHPs are also the main animals that allow quick response and research into emerging viruses” (ncbi, para 9).

These animals like chimpanzees and orangutans help doctors in real time find/ locate what the problem is with the human, and help find the remedy that could save their life. For example, in the greenfacts article, “it is very difficult to develop a vaccine against malaria because there are four different parasites that cause the disease and because each parasite goes through four different stages during the course of its infection of a human host, each time presenting different substances that the human immune system has to fight (antigens)” (, 2.2.3). This knowledge wasn’t known when the disease first came into the global picture. But now, with the knowledge that is now possessed by scientists and doctors, the numbers in deaths have significantly diminished.

Not as many people will struggle with the health issues that diseases, like malaria, has plagued to world with. HIV/AIDS was always around, but had a spike in the late 1900s. The people that were the most susceptible were gay men from Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. As stated in the previous paragraph, chimps and orangutans were the bridge that humans need to understand disease with the human body. constructed and article about why NHPs were used in medical experiments, namely with regards to disease and viruses. They state that, “in 1995—after hundreds of chimpanzees … —the National Institutes of Health (NIH) imposed a moratorium on the breeding of chimpanzees when it was discovered that they don’t get sick from HIV infection and don’t contract AIDS” (para 4).

With the gained knowledge, they were able to locate the gene that didn’t make them susceptible and see if they could transfer that to humans. Since then, the deaths from the virus has gone down significantly. With the bringing in of primates into medical research, disease and viruses like polio, tuberculosis, hepatitis, malaria, and HIV to name a few, scientists were able find the cures for them ad save the lives of many.

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Primates Helped Scientists. (2022, Apr 09). Retrieved February 8, 2023 , from

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