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A child watches chimpanzees sharing a coconut in their newly renovated habitat at Taronga Zoo in Sydney on Sept. 30, 2011.
Chimpanzees are our closest animal relative – their ability to communicate, empathize and look back at us with big, expression-filled eyes has fueled human curiosity for centuries. Due to their genetic similarities, chimpanzees are also prime subjects for research. One thousand chimps are housed in research facilities here in the U.S. By one estimate, this costs taxpayers $30 million a year. Today, the Institute of Medicine released a highly anticipated report that sets new guidelines for research on chimpanzees.
Brandon Keim, associate editor of Wired Science