Chimpanzee Biomedical Experiments: A Question of Efficacy

Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit

Primate Behavior and Ecology

Publication Date



The efficacy of biomedical research on chimpanzees is addressed from an empirical point of view. The confounding effects of “standard housing” on experiments are examined, with regard to deleterious effects on the neurophysiological makeup of the subjects and thus the effects on the results of any research examining neurological or immunological factors. Also, specious symptom similarity can cause one to assume a common aetiology, which is often unwarranted. The assumption of common reactions from different species violates sound scientific procedures. The high probability of Type 1 errors in the chimpanzee AIDS model is discussed. Also, unjustified generalisation across species is discussed. Finally, the rational and ethical problems surrounding the use of chimpanzees in biomedical research are discussed.


This article was originally published in Alternatives to Laboratory Animals. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Alternatives to Laboratory Animals


Copyright © 1995 SAGE Publications