Today in Research: Ending Tests on Chimps; Diabetes on the Rise

Discovered: when abstract ideas about dating don't matter, the end of invasive research on chimps, a lot of adults with diabetes, going to the dentist for your heart, and another way to preserve your brain.

  • There's only two countries in the world that conduct invasive research on chimpanzees. And, the United States is one of them, The New York Times informs us today (the other is Gabon). But that may no longer be the case: "a decision to stop such research in the United States could come within a year." The Times frames the debate, naturally, as one between advocacy organizations who've alleged poor conditions for the animals, and advocates who say, "If human lives can be saved ... 'it would be grossly unethical not to do research' on chimpanzees." It was only last week we noted a high profile study by M.D. Anderson Cancer Center researchers who used an experimental drug to slim down obese rhesus monkeys, "potentially setting the stage for a new pharmaceutical approach to attacking obesity," The Wall Street Journal reported at the time. [The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal]
  • 552 million people could have diabetes by 2030. Which is a figure that boils down to about one in 10 adults, according to the Associated Press relaying a World Health Organization projection. But why? The answer given by the WHO's head of the diabetics unit to the AP appears to link it to humans living longer: he "said the projected future rise in diabetes cases was because of aging rather than the obesity epidemic. Most cases of diabetes are Type 2, the kind that mainly hits people in middle age, and is linked to weight gain and a sedentary lifestyle." [Associated Press]

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